Title:  Economics of helicopter and spotlight techniques to survey deer in Oklahoma pine plantations: a first approximation.
Author(s): Melchiors, M. A. and R. E. Thackston
Year: 1984
Abstract: Helicopter and spotlight techniques were used in the late summer of 1982 and 1983 to survey white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) occupying young pine plantations in the Quachita Mountains of southeast Oklahoma. Helicopter survey costs (per area surveyed, per deer observed, per deer identified) were equivalent to those of spotlight surveys. More deer were assigned to age-sex classes (antlered buck, doe, fawn) by helicopter than by spotlight technique. Day-to-day variation in data used to calculate man deer indices (ha/deer, buck/doe and fawn/doe ratios, percent deer identified) was generally lower by helicopter; and, deviation of calculated means for composite values was lower by helicopter. Both techniques provide similar kinds of deer population information. However, helicopter use allows for a more complete sampling of young pine plantations including some with too much cover to be effectively surveyed by spotlighting. The helicopter technique appears to provide data that are more accurate, less variable, and based upon a higher proportion of identified deer at a cost equivalent to spotlight surveys.

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