Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
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Tolerance Level
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   View historical data on whether a specific county is considered to have intolerably high levels of deer damage. Click on the “Using the metrics” link for detailed information on how intolerably high damage levels are determined. For additional Information….
Through the Deer Management for 2000 and Beyond Project, the Agriculture Damage Study Group developed metrics for defining tolerable levels of deer damage to agriculture crops. Tolerable levels of deer damage are defined in WI Administrative Code NR1.15(2)(am) as follows:

Tolerable levels of deer damage to crops. Deer damage to crops in a deer management unit exceeds tolerable levels when the crop damage is greater than 2.5 times the median in 2 of the following 4 indicators:

1. Appraised deer damage losses per 100 overwinter deer.
2. Appraised deer damage losses per square mile of land in the deer management unit.
3. Appraised deer damage losses per square mile of agricultural land in the deer management unit.
4. Number of claims for deer damage per 100 square miles of total land.

Administrative code specifies that high value crops such as vegetables and nursery stock be omitted in these calculations to avoid skewing the results where significant damages may be occurring as a result of the commodity price and not necessarily because of high concentrations of deer.
Collection and analysis methods
Information for these metrics is collected on wildlife damage claims submitted to the department through Wildlife Damage Abatement and Claims Program (WDACP). Under this program county wildlife damage technicians perform field appraisal using standardized crop appraisal methods to determine losses that resulted specifically from deer. Under program rules producers are required to notify the county wildlife damage technician at least 10 days prior to harvesting the crop so an appraisal can be conducted. The WDACP provides damage abatement assistance and partial compensation to agriculture producers experiencing damage to agriculture crops from deer. Currently 70 Wisconsin counties participate in the program, Menominee and Kenosha counties are the only counties that do not participate.
Using the metric
Under NR 1.15 (2) (at) If crop damage in a deer management unit with an objective to maintain or increase the population is above the tolerable limit in 2 years out of a 3 year period prior to a unit review under s. NR 10.104 (3), the department shall consider establishing an objective to reduce or maintain the deer population.
Limitations and precautions
These metrics were developed for use on a Deer Management Unit (DMU’s) scale where land uses, i.e. agricultural areas, are better delineated than county management units. In addition the information collected through the WDACP currently does not differentiate between the forested and farmland zones so historical information is not available for counties that have both the forested and farmland zones. Changes will be made so this information is collected beginning in 2015.
Future needs
Additional background materials related to this metric

Tolerable Levels Met
Year Tolerable Level Met?
2016 Yes
2015 Yes
2014 Yes
2013 Yes
2012 Yes
2011 Yes
2010 Yes
2009 Yes
2008 Yes
2007 Yes
2006 Yes
2005 Yes
2004 No
2003 No
2002 No

Appraised Deer Damage Losses Per 100 Overwinter Deer

Appraised Deer Damage Losses Per Square Mile Of Land In The Deer Management Unit

Appraised Deer Damage Losses Per Square Mile Of Agricultural Land In The Deer Management Unit

Number Of Claims For Deer Damage Per 100 Square Miles Of Total Land
For questions on this deer metric data contact:
Kevin Wallenfang 608-261-7589 Kevin.Wallenfang@wisconsin.gov