10 things you didn’t know about deer

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Deer are essentially the charming homewreckers of the ecosystem. Don’t believe me? Read on.

  1. A natural regrowth forest has many strata of growth: flowers, ferns, perennials, annuals, shrubs, plus trees of all ages. Deer eat anything they can reach. If you can see through the woods, the understory is gone.
  2. Spring ephemerals – the beautiful understory wildflowers (e.g., trilliums, and lady’s slipper orchids) – are a key pollen source for spring insects and bees. Deer eat that vegetation.
  3. Spring flowers become berries, important for songbirds. Deer eat the flower buds year-round. Result: no birds.
  4. Understory destruction leaves small birds and mammals with nowhere to hide. Result: population depletion.
  5. Fewer small mammals and birds means fewer raptors.
  6. No young trees will eventually mean… no trees.
  7. Grassy meadows are their goal. The mixed planting that we do on the water’s edge, to slow down erosion and reduce flooding and water pollution? Deer eat most of that vegetation.
  8. All growth beside the lakes is browsed to the same height. Result: more sun on the water, fewer cool, shady spots for young fish and amphibians, and a knockon effect all along the food chain.
  9. They carry ticks and disease (but you knew that).
  10. Fall flowers, such as asters, are essential for specific pollinators, such as bumblebees. Deer eat them before they can flower. No flowers means no reproduction.

Deer population density is not from habitat loss: the areas with the highest density (Lacs Tremblant, Ouimet, and Desmarais) have vast tracts of wilderness right next door. Deer work to create the perfect environment for themselves. They have done so all over North America. If deer weren’t pretty, we wouldn’t stand for this terrible destruction. Worried about nature? Start with deer.


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Laura Scully


Laura Scully64 Posts

Diplômée de l’Université de Guelph en horticulture, Laura Scully est cofondatrice et copropriétaire de Northland, entreprise tremblantoise d'aménagement paysager maintes fois primée. Elle partage son savoir horticole avec les lecteurs du Tremblant Express depuis 2009. / A University of Guelph graduate in horticulture, Laura Scully is the cofounder and co-owner of Northland, the Mont-Tremblant landscaping company that has won so many titles and awards. She has been sharing her knowhow with Tremblant Express readers since 2009. paysagistesnorthland.com


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