The Impacts of a Survey on Deer Damage Program Delivery in Ohio
Westerfield, Geoffrey D.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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Understanding the best approach to deer damage management can help minimize monetary loss and aggravation to farmers and non-agricultural landowners who experience damage caused by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Ohio. A survey was conducted of all agricultural and non-agricultural Ohioans who received a deer damage permit in 2013 to assess their attitudes towards deer damage, Ohio’s deer damage permitting system, and acceptance/knowledge of additional programs that may help them reduce deer damage. My research updated the Ohio Division of Wildlife farmer attitude survey (Reynolds, 2000) last completed in 2000 and results indicate that there has been a drastic change in attitude towards the satisfaction with the level of service provided by the agency. In addition, we surveyed Ohio landowners experiencing non-agricultural damage (e.g. landscape damage) for the first time in Ohio which has not only allowed analysis with agricultural permittees but also provides a baseline for future surveys regarding non-agricultural landowners that experience deer damage. Results also demonstrate that permittees strongly support maintaining a deer damage permit program in Ohio. In addition, improvements within the current program structure along with recommendations for implementation of new programs were identified to further help the Ohio Division of Wildlife assist landowners in minimizing deer damage in Ohio.