The deer eating your plants or crossing the road just in front of your car are now the topic of a statewide discussion.
State officials have been evaluating North Carolina's wild deer population for three years and are asking for public feedback. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission will be hosting nine forums across the state in June to discuss deer management.
Brad Howard, wildlife biologist for the Commission, said the management needs of urbanized parts of the state are very different than those of rural areas.
"The western part of the state and some of the counties on the coast have, you know, biologically sound deer populations, but deer densities are very low," he said.
Howard added that regulated hunting is by far the number one management tool for the wild deer population. He said that the forums are aimed to be "an opportunity for deer hunters and other stakeholders to discuss deer-management issues as we plan for the future.”
The forums will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the following locations:
June 9, Southern Alamance High School, Graham
June 10, South Stanley High School, Norwood
June 11, Brown Auditorium, Nash Community College, Rocky Mount
June 16, Orringer Auditorium, Craven Community College, New Bern
June 17, Swain Auditorium, Edenton
June 18, Bladen Community College, Bladenboro
June 23, Haywood Community College, Clyde
June 24, Municipal Auditorium, Morganton
June 25, Elkin High School, Elkin
Deer are also a part of the discussion at the state legislature. Under the North Carolina Farm Act of 2015, the Wildlife Resources Commission would no longer manage deer kept on farms. Instead, management would move to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This would include regulating the production, sale, possession and transportation of farmed deer.