Feeding white-tailed deer

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The Ministry of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks announces the entry into force of a new regulation aimed at prohibiting the feeding of white-tailed deer everywhere in Quebec, with the exception of Anticosti Island, outside hunting season, from December 1 to August 31.

Note that this new regulation does not affect hunting techniques such as baiting for white-tailed deer. This practice of attracting deer to improve the chances of hunting success will be preserved. Deer baiting for hunting purposes remains permitted from September 1 to November 30 only, with the exception of saline substances (e.g. salt block) which remain authorized year-round.

Feeding deer can have adverse biological effects on cervids. Since their digestive system adapts throughout the year, deer must change their diet each season to survive. The artificial feeding of white-tailed deer by citizens can therefore be harmful for the cervid, especially in winter, which can cause health and mortality problems related to inappropriate food. This bad practice can also generate problems of cohabitation in urban areas while increasing road safety problems and damage to property. Although several municipalities already prohibit this practice, the application of this regulation to all regions of Quebec will be beneficial for both citizens and the deer population.

For more information on the problems related to the artificial feeding of white-tailed deer in winter, we invite you to consult the thematic page on the subject.