Cornell UniversityThe Nature Conservancy

Education and Learning

Active learning is critical at all stages of CBDMDeer and City - Photo © Graeme Purdy - iStock

If your community is just getting started, you’ll need to gather information on things such as local deer impacts on public health, safety, and damage to natural areas. Similarly, to select the management actions that are best for your community you’ll need to spend time learning about deer biology, management options and successful examples from other communities—like those featured in the CBDM Community Examples. There is no need to “reinvent the wheel!”

Consult a variety of materials

What kinds of educational materials should your community consult during the CBDM process? Deer-related information is available in many formats—printed reports and articles, websites and blogs, videos and radio broadcasts/podcasts are just a few of the resources available. You can get started by browsing our Resource Library.

Share and summarize

Even the best educational materials are only as good as your community’s learning process. Gear the educational content and format to your community’s needs at any given time. At a minimum, make all materials available in their entirety to establish transparent process and build trust. Most stakeholders will also appreciate thoughtful syntheses and summaries of information such as a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) document, learning forums, or interactive discussion sessions.

Learn by doing

Finally, do not underestimate the importance of “learning by doing.” As you prepare to implement your program, think about how you will evaluate its success. Write it down. Purposeful learning about what works and what doesn’t will help your community adapt its CBDM program to meet the needs of deer, people, and natural areas over time.

Common Questions

There are many kinds of experts you might consult throughout your community’s CBDM process. Different experts have different kinds of expertise, including expertise implementing the types of management alternatives a community is considering, expertise on state wildlife management laws and policies, and expertise on process management and public involvement. Some wildlife experts may work for or have worked for a government agency or organization, have university credentials, or be a certified wildlife biologist. It may also be helpful to get a sense of what kinds of experiences the expert you are considering has had with respect to deer management. Your community may benefit from consulting more than one expert for different phases.

Stakeholder engagement can be accomplished in many ways, so it does not look exactly the same in every community. Some communities get input from public meetings or comments on proposed actions; some collect information using surveys of community residents. Other communities involve stakeholders more directly, using in face-to-face deliberations like focus groups or workshops. Over time communities may gather information using a combination of several approaches. The best approach for engaging people will depend on factors such as: the level of conflict over deer, the number of stakeholders affected, how interested and aware stakeholders are in the deer management issue, how much information decision makers need from stakeholders, as well as any resource limitations your community might have. For more discussion on this, please see Decker et al. 2002.

Please see our resources tab to find a variety of information about deer and deer management that you may find interesting. Your county’s Cooperative Extension office may be another place you can contact to find out about any upcoming programs or workshops related to deer and deer management. Many counties' Cooperative Extension offices have natural resources specialists who may engage in outreach related to deer.