Abstract

Title:  Evaluation of harvest/methods to estimate deer abundance.
Author(s): Conder, M. C., J. W. Bishir, and R. A. Lancia
Year: 1986
Abstract: Use of "catch"/unit of effort to estimate deer abundance from harvest date was investigated by application of the technique to the deer herd at Remington Farms, MD, and by simulation. During 1981-85, deer hunters recorded the number of deer seen, hours hunted, and deer killed on each day of Maryland's seven-day gun season. Population estimates were derived using the catch/effort methods of Seber with "catch/effortm defined in four ways: deer killed/hunter, deer killed/hour, deer seen/hunter, and deer seen/hour. The harvest/effort methods yielded reasonably accurate estimates of abundance as indicated by comparisons with estimates from the change-in-ratio and Lincoln-Peterson methods. Stochastic simulation techniques were used to evaluate the effects on population estimates of population size, removal rate, and departures from basic assumptions. The technique performs best when a large proportion of a large population is removed. The method often fails when the kill is small, the population is small (<25), or there is an unusually large kill on the last day of hunting. Advantages of the harvest/effort method are: it is essentially free, it provides reasonably accurate estimates of abundance, and annual changes in "catchability" of the population can be estimated.

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