New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: LuAnn Tafoya (575) 532-2106
Public contact: (575) 532-2100
luann.tafoya@state.nm.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JAN. 25, 2008:

FEEDING DEER DOES MORE HARM THAN GOOD

SILVER CITY -- People who feed deer in the winter may have good intentions, but giving deer food outside their natural diet could kill them, biologists with the Department of Game and Fish said.

The Department is reminding residents of Silver City and other communities in deer country not to feed deer that may be hanging around near houses as the animals seek lower elevations in wintertime. Deer have difficulty digesting non-natural foods such as grain, hay, vegetables, fruit or pet food, and can actually die with full stomachs.

Eating non-natural food can cause deer to have poor body condition, increased stress and disease. Artificial feeding often causes deer to congregate in small areas, making them more likely to be struck by vehicles. Large numbers of deer also can damage personal property and attract predators such as mountain lions.

It is unlawful in New Mexico for any person to cause a nuisance game-animal problem by baiting, feeding, or otherwise enticing game animals to an area. The best thing to do if you see deer in your neighborhood is to leave them alone and let nature run its course.

People who have problems with deer or other wild animals are encouraged to call the nearest Department of Game and Fish office in Las Cruces (575-532-2100), Raton (575-445-2311), Santa Fe (505-476-8000), or Roswell (575-624-6135).

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