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This is true of many northeastern US states and is definitely true for southeastern NY. The 19th century was the peak of agriculture in the northeast. Farming was rapidly becoming more efficient in the midwest. Out on the plains the new farm machinery and techniques could be employed on a large scale. In the northeast, plots of land were smaller, hillier, and rockier. Farms were rarely more than a few acres.

You can see a vivid demonstration of this in the old stone walls of New York and New England. These used to mark the borders of cleared farmland. Now they're usually in forests. As the forests reclaimed the land, so did the creatures of the forest. In addition to increasing habitat for the deer, very few people hunt deer for food anymore.

2007-09-24 14:34:48
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Q: Did New York in the late 1800s have no white-tail deer and fewer trees than exist today?
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