FARMERS feel there is nothing cute and Bambi-like about the booming deer population in several parts of NSW, and the NSW Department of Primary Industries agrees.
A spokesman for the department said "wild deer were known to cause damage to agricultural crops, pastures and forestry plantations and compete with livestock for pasture - other impacts include damage to fences, spreading of weeds and fouling of waterholes".
Despite this, no moves are afoot in NSW to declare wild deer a pest.
"The Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation 2012 allows the licensing regulation for game animals like deer to be suspended, where they are causing a nuisance or are required to be controlled due to their impacts," the spokesman said.
"To date the licensing regulations for deer have been suspended 21 times."
Because deer are not declared a pest like wild pigs, foxes or dogs, Local Land Services does not work with landholders to control deer, instead they have to apply for a control order to get help co-ordinating control programs.
The DPI said wild deer are managed in NSW through ecological deer management programs co-ordinated by the Game Licensing Unit and local pest management plans such as those in Wollongong and Port Macquarie.
"The current classification of deer as a game animal allows adequate control options for rural producers," said Shooter and Fishers Party MLC Robert Brown.
Mr Brown said deer were low on the federal government's rankings for agricultural, biosecurity, and environmental threats.
"Why should the taxpayers be saddled with the costs of controlling deer when the current model used in State forests, running successfully since 2006, has proven so effective at no net cost to the taxpayer," Mr Brown said.
"Hunting has recently been attributed with a contribution of about $400 million per annum to the Victorian economy - studies carried out by the Game Council confirm this level of economic benefit to NSW."
Last month the Greens started campaigning for a pest declaration for feral deer.
"Feral deer are the most significant emerging pest animal threat in NSW, causing major ecological and agricultural impacts," said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.