Form a deer management / control group with your neighbours
Feral deer typically live and move across properties. Coordination of deer control amongst neighbouring landholders is the best approach to effectively control deer and reduce their impacts.
Start by talking to your neighbours in your area and listen to each other’s stories and concerns about feral deer. Consider forming a collaborative group and contact your local land management agency for advice.
By forming a group, you will build awareness in your community, be able to make community-led decisions about which control tools to use, encourage other stakeholders (private, industry, local government) to work with you, and potentially seek funding together. You can also create a private DeerScan group to share information about deer sightings in your area.
Whether there is a small or large established feral deer population, or a new incursion- you can make a difference by working together in a group.
PestSmart provides resources to support planning and preparing pest control plans.
Find out about community programs in your area
To obtain deer control advice and discuss support options for your deer control plans, contact agencies near you as listed below.
As an entity, the Limestone Coast Landscape Board works with landholders to support the sustainable management of our landscapes – soil, water, pest plants and animals, and biodiversity. Underpinning this approach is the Landscape South Australia Act 2019. We estimate that there are roughly 24,000 feral deer in the region, and we are in the process of implementing a monitoring program to gain a better understanding of the scale of the problem.
The Board has coordinated a feral deer aerial shooting program since 2009, with two five-day aerial shooting programs being delivered in 2021 on both public and private lands.
We are also coordinating a professional ground shooting program on private lands, with the goal of extending this program as a trial to public lands in 2021.
Our control programs are funded through a variety of sources, with Landscape Levy funds, Commonwealth funds and occasional State Government grants or support.
Reason for control: Primary production, conservation, road safety.
A group of Councils has come together with the Tweed Landcare and Border Ranges-Richmond Valley Landcare networks to raise awareness in The Northern Rivers community.
Currently the region is listed as having absent feral deer; however, recent sightings indicate feral deer are present in low numbers.
We are working across a regional, cross tenure landscape that includes world heritage National parks, agricultural production, private, indigenous, and public lands. The project is being funded by the federal government (DAWE) until December 2021.
The project aims are to prevent the establishment of Feral Deer in the region, to protect the high diversity ecosystems, reduce the impacts to motorists and the public and preserve the regions strong agricultural presence.
Illawarra region of NSW – Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama Local Government Areas
The Program, one of the largest of its kind in Australia, aims to sustain a collaborative approach for the community to mitigate the negative impacts of deer across the Illawarra.
The Program goal will be achieved by focusing on four outcomes:
economic, social and environmental deer impacts are minimised
the Illawarra community shares the responsibility of deer management
the Program is safe for people and is ethical
the Program is collaborative and financially sustainable.
The Program is about suppression / reduction of large numbers of deer in the Illawarra along with asset protection:
Agriculture – deer compete for pastures, spread weeds, carry diseases and damage infrastructure such as fences;
Environment – deer cause damage to remnant vegetation and riparian zones and spread weeds; and
Community – reduce the interaction with urban residents and car accidents
Control is undertaken by Contractors appointed via tender process across land owned / managed by Councils, large public land holders through to private land managers. While Local Land Services provided a co-ordinator for the program, control is funded via contributions from Local Governments, large land holders (public and private), Government Statutory Bodies and Government grants.
MidCoast Council is located on the mid north coast of NSW.
We have deer control projects at Cattai (near Coopernook) and in the area between Old Bar and Green Point.
MidCoast Council is part of a stakeholder working group implementing deer control in specific, high-priority locations.
The deer control programs respond to:
1. Controlling sambar deer on council-owned land at cattai, which is a regional deer control priority (sambar deer outlier) and human safety and environmental risk to a significant conservation reserve.
2. Manage deer in expanding peri-urban populations near coastal villages including Forster, Green Point and Hallidays Point, because this is a community priority and has safety risk management and environmental considerations.
In the last decade or so, feral deer have expanded their population and range significantly in the Council area and two regional control priorities are identified.
We work on Council-owned land mainly, but also with private land as well as a partnership with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. We have received state funding support for our programs, which is combined with Council’s environmental rate funds and staff time in-kind.
Reason for control: road safety, conservation, and community issues
Focused on wild dog, Pig and Deer control as well as weeds.
Deer numbers are the high in this area and the highest density population in the CWLLS district. We have reduced deer numbers with aerial shooting over the last 3 years but there are still pockets of deer where numbers are high where we have not been allowed to aerially shoot. The country is hilly grazing country running with a mix of private and public land that is leased to local landholders.
This group covers the area south of Burrendong Dam off the Macquarie River. We have had access to LLS Pest Levy funding for deer control though this is not a stable source of funding going forward.
Nillumbik Shire Council – Environment and Biodiversity
Shire of Nillumbik, north-east Melbourne, Victoria
Council provides a range of environmental services for the local community including land management education and advice, and on-ground works to support biodiversity, improve land management practices and control pest plants and animals.
Nillumbik has a mix of urban, rural, bushland and peri-urban landscapes, which makes control of deer complex. Numbers of deer are increasing steadily, with damage evident in many areas.
Council environment officers work with private landholders, neighbouring Councils, water authorities and Parks Victoria to assist with or lead delivery of deer management and control projects, which are usually funded by State and Federal grants. We also provide advice and some financial assistance to groups of residents working together to manage deer impacts on their land.
We undertake and support deer control to help protect biodiversity, water and agricultural assets, as well as increase road safety.
The Victorian Deer Control Community Network will provide a platform for state-wide collaboration over matters related to feral deer. The purpose of the VDCCN is to substantially reduce the impact and distribution of feral deer in Victoria.
Our vision is that by 2030, a healthy and respectful collaboration of community, interest groups, institutions and government has resulted in the substantial and sustained reduction in the distribution of feral deer and the impact of feral deer on the community, environment, and the economy.
Our mission is to Connect community to protect Cardinia Creek catchment biodiversity through humane deer reduction. We are not a hunter group. We advocate, educate and work to help private landowners control deer on their properties. We have mainly fallow and sambar, both in large numbers. Our land is on the outskirts of Melbourne, a rural urban interface, with mainly smaller holdings but also some larger properties, all surrounded by extensive bushlands. Our funding comes mainly through grants, but a small amount through membership fees.
Our group has been focused on revegetating riparian areas, weed education and control biodiversity education and pest particularly deer control. Unless we fence or do deer culls our revegetation programs don’t survive. We work mainly on private land. Our funding is mainly from state sources
Reason for control: Conservation of revegetation and gardens
Watergum works predominantly in South East QLD but also has projects that extend into Northern NSW and Nationally
Watergum is an action oriented, non-political organisation that links community and environment through on-ground work. We have an excellent business model and a governing committee which is a balanced mix of professionals, volunteers, and businesspeople. Careful planning guides our direction, and all decisions are underpinned by sound financial data.
Watergum is the umbrella organisation for environmental groups in the Gold Coast providing support, insurance and auspicing services for 48 member groups. Watergum has 6 year-round citizen science programs, organises 4-6 major environmental events annually and is currently managing and co-managing in excess of 20 restoration and rehabilitation projects.
Watergum does not coordinate a deer program at this time, however it is something that is of great concern to us and we are very interested in networking with others about possible collaboration in deer control. Our primary reason for starting a deer control initiative or collaborating with an existing initiative would be for conservation reasons.
Deer are spread out throughout the shire mostly in small, isolated populations in both rural and urban locations.
We are targeting deer in two ways. A ground control program on private land in specific locations where feral deer population are close to the main roads and a trapping program wherever we believe our trapping chances are most likely.
We have received $2000 from QPWS for the purchase of Deer Trap Gate (M.I.N.E Trapping System). Otherwise all funding is from our council.