Water and soils

Water and soils

Deer have specific natural needs and behaviours and if incorrectly managed, deer can threaten the quality of water & soil, with undesirable behaviour including excessive pacing, wallowing, and digging in soils. If incorrectly managed these natural behaviours will cause erosioncompaction and pugging of soils, and the consequent runoff of nutrient, sediment and coliforms will result in contamination of waterways.

Applying good deer farm management with the Land and Environment Plan ('LEP) template enables- 

  • assessment of risks; 
  • evaluation of land capability; 
  • paddock conditions; 
  • riparian management
  • use of prudent wintering feed systems; and 
  • scheduling of environmental protections and mitigations, 

to be fully integrated with the profitable deer farming business. Undertaking LEP therefore provides confidence that the deer farming operation is sustainably using its water and soil resources and its utilisation can also be used to provide assurance of sustainable practice to consumers.


Farm practices must prevent degradation of water and soil quality to ensure ongoing environmental sustainability and therefore ongoing economic viability.

Deer farm water sources range from direct stock access to waterways to takes from rivers/lakes, springs and groundwater (bores).