Abstract

Title:  A review of either-sex deer harvest strategies in North Carolina.
Author(s): Osborne, J. S., Barnes, G. L., and C. B. Woodhouse
Year: 1981
Abstract: North Carolina's experiences with either-sex deer hunting from 1957- 1979 were examined through review of previous kill records, federal aid progress reports, regulations, and interviews with biologists. Harvest systems, season lengths and dates, and area boundaries for either-sex hunting on North Carolina Game Lands (NCGL) and on private lands were analyzed to determine the efficiency and success of past doe harvests. Seasons were initiated on NCGL in 1957. The hunts were successful in reducing deer numbers but hunter density was high and administration a problem. Total antlered buck harvest remained unchanged on most areas following 12 years of either-sex hunting. However, the buck kill declined on 4 of the more popular areas and this decrease in hunter success and associated reaction from sportsmen resulted in the Commission closing the seasons in 1969. They remained closed on most public hunting areas. Either-sex hunting began on private lands in 1961. Early seasons were short (1 or 2 days) with much hunting pressure and area boundaries were often small and poorly defined. Expansion of deer herds and crop depredation resulted in longer seasons (2-12 weeks) which reduced hunter density but increased administration. Mandatory tagging of antlerless deer began in 1973 and provided for a more efficient system and the ability to improve reports of the kill. Season length had an impact on harvest rates and variations in timing of the season resulted in changes in the percentage of fawns in the harvest. Future strategies for NCGL and private lands are discussed with recommendations for improving the either-sex harvest scheme. Attaining public support should be a primary consideration.

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42nd Annual Meeting of the Southeast Deer Study Group
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Hyatt Regency
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