Oh Deer! Environmental Education through the Lens of a Hunter

Each year I find a new topic to share at the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE) Winter Conference. This year my theme is  “Oh Deer! Environmental Education through the lens of a Hunter”

Participants explore how we can build a stronger understanding and interest in the natural world through the culture and customs of the hunting community. They learn what it takes to become a licensed hunter in New Jersey, how to age a deer by the teeth and how hunting remains a strong tool for creating environmental advocates and preserving open space.  Together we experience lessons that try to provide a balanced exploration of controversial issues and help shed an understanding on hunter perspectives.


I’ll start with open exploration of inquiry based activity learning areas.

Critter Cameras

critter camera, natureintoactioncritter camera, nature into action

Deer Teeth Aging for Quality Deer Management

Lenape Native American Reliance on White-Tailed Deer

Deer Skeleton Anatomy

deer skeleton anatomy lesson, natureintoactionOh Deer, Nature Into Action

Deer Skull Anatomy

Deer Tracking in Moon Sand

Deer as Nutritious Food

Deer Antler Tines and Beam Measurement and Boone and Crockett Scoring Lab!

and Deer Ticks

and follow-up with an adapted Oh Deer! lesson from Project Wild that includes additional population dynamic factors of hunters, predators, vehicles and disease.

If time allows, we’ll also read the situation statement in the Deer Dilemma lesson from Project Wild and act out the various stakeholder perspectives.

Finally, participants will discuss New Jersey Hunter Safety and learn about license and permit fees through the hunter digest magazine.


A shorter and more hands-on version of this presentation is available as a class,

OH DEER!  Play predator and prey games and explore the White-Tailed Deer through inquiry and exploration! Examine the anatomical structure of a deer as we piece together a skeleton, learn how to age a deer by looking at its teeth and examine deer sign along the trail as we search for rubs, scrapes, scat, tracks, bedding area and browse.


Resource List:

Where does the Pittman-Robertson-Tax-Money-Really-Go?

Handouts from Oh Deer from Project Wild

Handouts from Deer Dilemma from Project Wild

Please contact me if you would like this presentation facilitated for your group.

My past presentation topics shared at the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE) Winter Conference have included Buzz Into Action, Hop Into Action, Recycling Education, Wild About Wildlife and Using Digital Mapping to Improve Nature Access.

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