White-tailed deer are a highly valued and an important part of Ontario’s wildlife biodiversity. Ontario has a healthy population of White-tailed deer, estimated at approximately 400,000 animals and provides a range of ecological, social, cultural and economic benefits to all Ontarians. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is committed to ensuring that Ontario’s deer population remains healthy and continues to provide a range of benefits for Ontarians.
Cervid is a term used to describe members of the deer family. Ontario has four wild cervid species: moose, white-tailed deer, woodland caribou and American elk. In 2009, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) released the Cervid Ecological Framework (2009) to provide overarching policy advice to address cervid management at the broad landscape level. Currently three of Ontario’s wild cervid species (moose, woodland caribou and American elk) have species-specific management policies under the CEF. The proposed white-tailed deer management policy will complete the policy suite under the CEF.
The draft white-tailed deer management policy outlines broad principles, objectives and strategies for white-tailed deer management. This policy will support the government’s direction (described in Taking a Broader Landscape Approach: A Policy Framework for Modernizing Ontario’s Approach to Natural Resource Management, 2013) towards the use of a landscape approach to wildlife management in Ontario.
This policy could serve as the foundation from which population objective setting guidelines and harvest management guidelines may be built in the future.