History of the White-Tailed Deer in Maine
- Stanton, Don C.
The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus viriginianus borealis Miller) is one of the great natural assets with which the State of Maine has been endowed. Probably no animal in the State generates greater interest and controversy among more people. ”Buck fever" is one of the most prevalent maladies to be found in Maine, and one for which medical science has found no cure! Yet with all this interest, few people realize that the white-tail is not an old settler.over most of the state, and that its numbers have fluctuated violently during historic times. Because the white-tail is of interest and importance to so many of us in Maine, this account has been compiled to help acquaint its many friends with what is known of its history, as well as how, when and why its ups and downs have occurred.
For purposes of this report, five periods of history will be considered:
1. Pre-colonial times (prior to about 1ó05).
2. The colonial period to the time of statehood (1ó05-1820).
3. The era of logging and agricultural expansion (1820-1880).
4. The coming of conservation and protection (1880-1920) 5. The recent past (since 1920).
Each of these periods represents a separate era of importance for the deer herds of Maine, as each roughly corresponds to the existence of different factors which have affected deer numbers. These factors are considered to be hunting by both primitive and modern human population, lumbering and forest fires, land clearing associated with both ur- ban settlement and agriculture, type and intensity of agriculture, climate and predation.
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