Keywords: hunting, population, white-tailed deer; Grade Level: third and fourth grades; Total Time Required for Lesson: 90 minutes; Setting: classroom

Goals of the Lesson

  • Students will understand the role of hunting to control population of deer.
  • Students will understand carrying capacity and the alternatives of disease and starvation for deer.
  • Students will see the plant destruction caused by deer and car accidents causing deer and human death.


  • Have the students write about their feelings on deer hunting and why or why not they chose that position. After they have done so write the reasons for and against on the board that they used.

Activity 1

  • Divide the group into three groups.
  • Give each group a bag of candy but not enough for every one in the group.
  • Discuss if they were deer, who would get the candy? Who wouldn't? What will happen in the group? Fights? Starvation? Moving to another group? Births in groups?
  • Discuss how some will starve and deer movement causing accidents in their search for more food. Is it more humane to hunt them or let them starve or become diseased and weaken the whole herd?

Activity 2

  • Research on the computer what and how much deer eat and how much of farm crops and tree loss is due to deer.
  • Discuss the economic loss to growers from deer and alternatives to hunting such as fencing.
  • Discuss tree loss due to deer damage.

Activity 3

  • Have a game warden, forester, or a farmer come in to speak of deer problems.


Barbara Neuburger, General McKlain Elementary School