Abstract

Title:  A linear optimization model for white-tails emphasizing trophy antler production.
Author(s): Adams, D. L., P. E. Dress, and R. L. Marchinton.
Year: 1979
Abstract: The apparent decline in that fraction of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations comprised of high quality ("trophyn) individuals is of growing concern in many areas. Increased hunting pressure necessary to stabilize, or reduce, deer populations has resulted in lower age structures, and disproportionate sex ratios. It is felt that these factors are largely responsible for decreases in numbers of trophy deer in established populations. This study has been concerned with development of a mathematical decision model for aiding in the management of deer populations where the production of trophy animals is an objective. Population dynamics and biological parameters were defined in terms of a general linear optimization model (MAXVAL). Perinent data from natural populations were then input into the model to determine the feasibility of MAXVAL as a management tool by consideration of both numerical calibration (parameter estimation) and practical implementation difficulties. Parametric procedures were utilized to determine the relative costs involved in trophy, versus maximum population management schemes. Results of this study indicate that certain trade-offs are involved in shifting to management of trophy animals. Primary among these is the lowered population density and balanced sex ratio deemed necessary for sustained trophy production.

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