- Overview -
The White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is native to North America and prevalent throughout North Carolina including Mecklenburg County. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission estimates the population in Mecklenburg County from 15-45 per square mile, indicating that there are currently between 8,000 and 24,000 deer in our County. There are approximately 1.25 million deer in North Carolina.
Deer are quite mobile and adaptable and are found in most habitat types including forests, farmland, and creek bottoms as well as suburban and urban settings. White-tailed deer can be found in many Mecklenburg County Parks and Nature Preserves, even those well inside the Charlotte city limits.
- Population Growth-
Why are there now so many deer in the city?
- No natural mortality except for deer/vehicle collisions (DVC’s)
- Hunting is effectively prohibited by the Charlotte City Firearms Ordinance
- Property owners feeding and protecting deer
- Urban development incorporating woodlands and other deer habitat
As a rule, hunting is not allowed in Mecklenburg County Parks. However, select Nature Preserves do have special permit hunts each fall. These carefully managed hunts help keep the deer herd in check and prevent damage to the preserve habitat.
Deer can be exciting to see, but may be problematic in an urban setting. Feeding deer, although well intentioned, may be harmful to the deer’s health and may alter natural behavior resulting in nuisance animals. Attracting deer to yards and gardens may result in damage to neighbor’s property. Deer vehicle collisions are also increased if deer are attracted to an urban setting.