Strong majority against banning the feeding of wild deer - 149 participants, 435 responses

May 11, 2016

Recently, the New Hampshire House of Representatives amended a bill that would have allowed a ban on feeding wild deer. As originally passed in the Senate, SB 384 stated "No person shall knowingly place food for consumption by wild deer if the Fish and Game Department has determined such feeding would be detrimental to the health of the deer population." The bill also required businesses to label wild deer feed with the statement "Feeding wild deer could be harmful or fatal to their health." On May 11, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should the Fish and Game Department be allowed to ban the feeding of wild deer?”

“Should the Fish and Game Department be allowed to ban the feeding of wild deer?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Participation:

A total of 85% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 15% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 435 responses from 149 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

No: A majority, at 75% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, opposed banning the feeding of wild deer.

  • "If animal lovers want to feed the deer, then they should be allowed to do so. The Government should stay out of it.”
  • "Too much government control already. Are they intended to ban feeding hummingbirds and other birds, too?”
  • “If the grass is lean in the winters, it’s your property. Feed them if you want to.”

Yes: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 25%, supported banning the feeding of wild deer.

  • “Don't feed the deer, ducks, bear, alligator. It only takes 3 times to break them from their wild instincts, setting them up to attack or be killed.”
  • “Fish and Game set up the ban based on the science of the issue.”
  • "While we were living in Michigan, feeding and putting out deer bait was banned. Along with all that has been stated here, it was also spreading tuberculosis among both deer and dairy herds, with a possibility of spreading it to humans..."

Other: As noted above, 15% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Discussing the nature of feeding wild deer: “Feeding and baiting are 2 different things.”
  • Broadening the discussion to include what people know about deer and their diets: “The issue is people not knowing what they're doing. Feed White Tailed deer the wrong stuff and you're doing more harm than good. In winter, the deer's digestive system changes to digest the rougher food they eat at that time of year. Feed them grain or hay and it can be a death sentence.”
  • Expressing concern at why deer and people interact so frequently at all: “It’s nature, remember? We moved into their woods.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question.

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report.

Should the Fish and Game Department be allowed to ban the feeding of wild deer? Leave a comment and have your say!

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