Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Humans have a long history of exploiting both native and exotic deer species, having hunted them in every geographic region in which they occur. They are often hunted for their meat, hides, antlers, velvet, and other products. As humans began to rely more on agriculture, their dependence on deer species as a food source decreased. However, in areas where climate prohibits wide-scale agriculture, such as in the Arctic, deer species such as caribou are still relied upon for food, clothing, and other resources. In the past, caribou have even been domesticated by nomadic peoples in the high Arctic. Today, many cervid species are hunted for sport rather than necessity. Several species have also been domesticated as harness animals, including caribou and elk. Finally, cervids play an important role in the global ecotourism movement as various species of deer are readily observable throughout much of their native habitat.
Positive Impacts: food ; body parts are source of valuable material; ecotourism