Abstract

Title:  Stocking source and environment as factors in harvest of record bucks
Author(s): Fudge, J. R., J. C. Fortson, R. L. Marchinton, K. V. Miller, and D. A. Dobie
Year: 1987
Abstract: We examined relationships between stocking source, habitat and harvest of bucks with record antlers. Georgia was emphasized because it has produced a large number (42) of Boone and Crockett (B&C) bucks and the deer herd was derived from a variety of sources. In Georgia, numbers of B&C's seem to be increasing over time but the areas producing them have changed. A high percentage has been taken near large rivers. The mountains and coastal flatwoods have produced no record bucks regardless of stocking source. When only the suburban counties with good habitat were subjected to a contingency table analysis, the harvest of a B&C buck was not independent of stocking source. Counties that were stocked from both Wisconsin and Georgia stand out. Counties stocked only from Wisconsin also produced more than expected by chance. Although certified weights are difficult to obtain one of the largest (355 lbs field-dressed) ever reported was from Worth County, Ga., which was stocked with Wisconsin deer. The neighboring state of South Carolina was restocked entirely with local animals and has recorded only one B&C Buck. On the other hand, Alabama has produced more than a dozen. Most of these big deer were taken in the black belt, an area of excellent habitat, and were derived from Alabama stocking sources. It is clear that very good soil and habitat conditions are prerequisites to the production of record class antlers. The evidence also suggests that within habitats capable of producing large animals, those deer derived from certain sources are more likely to grow to record size.

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