Abstract

Title:  Gross B&C Scores of Offspring from a Deer Management Permit Program in South Texas
Author(s): John S. Lewis - Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Mickey W. Hellickson - King Ranch, and David G. Hewitt - Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute *
Year: 2007
Abstract: The State of Texas allows owners of high-fenced properties to enter the Deer Management Permit (DMP) program after meeting requirements set forth by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. This permit allows the owner to place 1 buck and up to 20 does in a breeding enclosure that is between 5 and 100 acres. Our objective was to assess the effectiveness of this program by comparing antler scores between pastures including DMP offspring and pastures without DMP offspring. White-tailed bucks were trapped using the helicopter net-gun technique on a 13,300 acre portion of a high-fenced ranch in south Texas. Offspring from enclosures were released in specific DMP pastures and were available for capture during our annual deer capture. We hypothesized that bucks released into pastures as part of the DMP program would have greater gross Boone and Crockett (GBC) scores compared to deer in pastures without DMP offspring. Using 2006-07 data, mean GBC score for DMP pasture yearlings was 37.4 GBC inches while GBC scores for yearlings in non-DMP pastures was 31.3 GBC inches (t =1.00, d.f. = 12, P = 0.34). Two year old bucks in DMP pastures average GBC score was 88.8 inches whereas the mean GBC score for 2.5 year olds in non-DMP pastures was 74.3 inches (t = 2.81, d.f. = 36, P 0.01). Three year old bucks averaged 121.4 and 102.3 inches for DMP and non- DMP pastures, respectively (t = 2.98 d.f. = 10, P = 0.01). Results from this analysis indicate that the DMP program on this ranch may be positively affecting GBC scores of offspring released from these pens

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