firecloud thankyou but heres what i dont understand......first, if they been here for 3 million years then why did it take so long for deer to appear down here because for example my grandpa says he NEVER saw any deer when he was young so does that mean it took 3 million years for the populations to get so big that they had to start moving south?? second which country did the whietails come from to get here 3 million years ago?
No problem. I will be happy to explain the small number of deer in Mississippi in your grandpa's days. While I don't know the exact age of your grandpa, by the early part of the last century, the population in Mississippi of whitetail deer was extremely small, as it was throughout most of America. There were plenty of deer 3 million years ago. There were still plenty of deer when Columbus arrived in 1492. Facts show the Native Americans did not "kill off" the deer or any other resource during their hundreds of years of land and game management before the "white man" arrived.
History records that the small number of early immigrant, non-native European settlers who lived on the North American land mass from the time of Columbus to the birth of our country (1492 to 1776) simply were not great enough to threaten the whitetail deer population.
However, things changed very shortly thereafter, as the population of non-native Americans grew and took over the lands previously managed by the Native Americans. During the 1800's, the Native Americans were steadily displaced from their lands and the Europeans spread out across the country, establishing towns and villages everywhere. Once the Native Americans lost control of the land and the white settlers moved in, the native species of many game animals, including the whitetail deer, buffalo, wild turkey, beaver, etc. were wholesale hunted until the point of virtual extinction.
While my account seems biased toward the Native Americans, history amply documents the fact that these four species I just named were never hunted to extinction during the Native American's management of the land. This only occured during the period of ownership by the European settlers. History is what it is; I am just providing you with the truth.
Let me stop right here and switch gears from the overall national historical account to Mississippi History. Had your Grandpa lived in Mississippi in the days BEFORE the very first white settlements on the gulf coast and later at Natchez and other locations (late 1600's and early 1700's), your grandpa would have seen deer all over the place and had plenty of them to hunt. He would have even had black bear to hunt and panthers. Essentially, the Native Americans only had very primitive bows, spears, etc. to hunt wild game. But when the white settlers arrived with guns, things changed quickly.
In Mississippi, large areas of land were opened up for white settlements in 1833 and the Native Americans were marched up the Trail of Tears to "IT" in Oklahoma (IT was what they called the Indian Territory.) The early white settlers who then moved into these areas after 1833 found tons of wild game, including whitetailed deer everywhere.
So the answer to your question is that the whitetail deer were in Mississippi WAY BEFORE the white settlers arrived and even before the Native Americans were here. As stated, sciences shows them here about 3 million years ago. And they remained here in great numbers until after 1833.
But, and here is what you need to understand, from 1833 to about 1933, during that 100 years, the white settlers who lived in Mississippi shot deer, bear, panthers, and other species of game to either extinction or very close to it. Science has proven that Mississippi was one of the original states where the Florida panther ranged but all these big cats were purposefully killed off by the settlers. Same thing with the black bear. And that same thing very nearly happened to the whitetail deer and wild turkey in Mississippi. You have to remember there were NO game laws, no game wardens, no deer seasons, no bag limits,....nada, nothing...to keep anyone from shooting any deer anytime they wanted to, day or night, with or without bait.
When you give people completely free opportunity to kill as many deer as often anywhere they desire to hunt them and whenever they want year round the deer will be swiftly reduced. Over that 100 year period, history shows that the whitetail deer population was reduced to perhaps as few as only a few thousand deer statewide. Thus, if your grandpa is speaking of a time around 1920 to 1930 or so in Mississippi, he is absolutely correct...there were virtually NO DEER left in our state.
The state created a game management agency in the 1930's and began to regulate and control hunting for deer and other species with game laws and enforcement of those laws. Plus the game management agency, which has now become the MDWFP, began an intensive program to repopulate the state with whitetail deer, including bringing in brood stock from other areas. Had this not been done, it is almost certain you and I would have no deer to hunt in this state today. The deer would simply have all been killed out by about 1950 or so, absent any regulation and absent efforts to boost the deer herd numbers. To their credit, the MDWFP predecessor agency also enacted programs to boost the wild turkey and other species of game that were in short supply.
Give the deer a little credit too. Whitetail deer are amazingly good at survival and reproduction. They repopulate quickly when not being slaughtered. In fact, from the few thousand deer in the state in the 1930's to about 1980 or so, in that small period of just about 50 years, the population of whitetail deer exploded to close to 2 million deer. Talk about a dramatic change, wow, that was a change! People like your grandpa rarely ever saw a deer. Not long ago, someone on this forum posted they counted 37 does in one field one afternoon.
Thus, the bottom line is that deer were here in abundance until about 1830 and were killed to near extinction by about 1930. Think about that for a minute. Deer can exist for 3 million years and man can wipe them out in just 100 years. That is sad. Fortunately, sportsmen who wanted to restore the deer herd stepped in and began conservation efforts to save the deer, turkeys, and other species. The work of sportsmen and others have made huge steps in boosting game numbers for lots of species, such as ducks and even with the once extinct black bear.
Ok, you also asked from which country the whitetail deer originally came from 3 million years ago. I am going to take the easy way out on that answer and just say that 3 million years ago there were no countries!!