There are too many Bambis and not enough resources to support them. White-tailed deer populations have exploded in urban areas across the country in recent decades due to human actions, and Central Texas is no exception.
At Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, a nature preserve in west Austin managed by St. Edward’s University, there are roughly five times more deer than the preserve can support, Education and Land Manager at Wild Basin Mitch Robinson said.
Wild Basin obtained a scientific permit and hired a company, Orion Research and Management, to kill deer for scientific research but is exploring other options, such as contraception.
“We have scientific documentation demonstrating the over-population and their
effects and have a licensed ‘biological service’ to remove them from
Preserve lands,” Robinson said.
From an ecological perspective, killing deer is a humane option because the deer are unhealthy.
“These deer are literally on the brink of death, so many of them are not healthy,” Robinson said. “When the populations are this dense, it’s impossible for them to have a healthy population.”
White-tailed deer overpopulation has been an issue in Central Texas for decades, Robinson said.
“This is a long-term issue within all this part of Central Texas. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with anything that’s changed recently,” Robinson said.