On Wednesday April 27, 2011, Patriot Land and Wildlife Project Manager Ryan Schultze was invited to be a guest speaker at the University of Maryland, College Park campus, to a senior-level Animal Sciences class about community-based deer management. “Critical Thinking” is the capstone course in the Animal Sciences Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, challenging students to analyze and solve a variety of real issues involving the dynamics between animals, wildlife, the environment, and humans.
The class was lead by invited speaker Nevin Dawson, Forestry Stewardship Educator from theUniversity of Maryland Extension. Nevin provided students with a background of white-tailed deer in Maryland and discussed problems caused by deer such as lack of forest undergrowth due to overbrowsing, ornamental vegetation and agricultural crop damage, Lyme disease, deer vs. vehicle accidents, etc. Several activities were facilitated for students to consider different situations involving deer damage and challenging them to think of ways to solve them.
To provide a real-world perspective of deer management and all the factors that come into play, Ryan Schultze of Patriot provided two case studies of community-based deer management, highlighting various challenges often faced when implementing a deer management program, specific successes of Patriot’s programs and how they affect the community, and how such programs are beneficial for stakeholders like farmers, homeowners, hunters, and the general community.