The big problem for Howard County with deer, and to a host of places in the United States, has, unfortunately, human causes. For Howard, it is the elimination of farm and graze land in the eastern part of the county; the central and western part of our area have not encountered this as much yet. As we denude more and more land, eliminate more farms to put up more houses and shopping centers, create more roads for an ever-increasing population, there is just nowhere for these poor creatures to go. And, animals have as much of a right to be on this earth as humans.
Deer come into and pillage our gardens because they have nowhere else to turn with all their natural land being turned into roads, shopping malls and more and more homes.
As the deer population increases and human presence increases, the predators will eventually follow.
Bobcats and coyotes are known deer predators. We have not seen much of either one around Columbia, for a very long time, since development. But there have been many sightings of these two predators in Baltimore County and in Carroll County where the deer population has radically increased.
The one thing that would stop this chain of events is to leave some natural habitat for the deer, not to rid ourselves of all the farmland in Howard County, and not to develop every square inch of land we can find. We need to take the lead to having some of our natural environment preserved.
Somehow, in this nice area in which we live, we need to preserve some of the natural environment that we enjoy and to make deer less of a problem for those of us who live in a wonderful part of Maryland and enjoy the things we do. There has to be a balance, more open graze and farmland will mean that deer will have a natural habitat and I don't think a bad impact on humans. Quite the reverse may be true from a deer and a deer predator standpoint.
Robert W. Hartge