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No feeding elk and deer

By Jim Conrad, jconrad@wcyb.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:38:39 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 05 2013 08:14:02 PM CDT

Don't be tempted to feed elk and deer that might wander in your backyard, it's against the law.

There are some unwritten rules that happen after Labor Day, like not wearing white, but there are other rules that are written and pertain to wildlife.

Like feeding deer and elk. We gathered the facts on the laws and why they're important for the elk and deer.

There's no more magnificent sight than elk in the wild or deer in their natural habitat. But more and more of them are showing up in our backyards and even along our roadways.

"What most people don't understand and why you're seeing more deer is, used to deer was strictly in the mountain areas only. Not so anymore, they've more into the farmlands, they've moved into the city limits, they've moved to where you see them everywhere," Says Larry Shanks with Mahoney's Outfitters.

That's because they're following the food and if you're tempted to put out some food for them, don't. It's not only against regulations after September first but you could harm the deer and elk.

"It actually will keep our deer population at a density higher than what we'd like to see it and can lead to taming of deer," Bill Bassinger with the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries Department said.

Some counties do not allow feeding deer anytime of year, Wise, Dickenson and Buchanan counties. The reason for the Labor Day date, is the approaching hunting season.

"If they're not hunted, if they're not controlled by that, they're going to get killed on the highway. They're going to die or disease," Shanks said.

But go into any sporting goods store and they have food for them. Why is that?

"It's not illegal to sell wildlife food it's only illegal to hunt over it and it's illegal to feed during those certain times of year," Bassinger says.

And that time is approaching and contrary to some reports hunting is up and a younger generation is learning to hunt.

"I started him and his twin out around five taking them out to woods, walking around hiking. Showing them different plants, a little bit of horticulture different types of animal tracks," Chris Pierce father of twins said.

Elk and deer in the wild, a beautiful site to see but well adapted to take care of themselves with no help from us.

 For Tennessee laws click here.

For Virginia laws click here.