Abstract

Title:  Predicting mature antler characteristics from yearling white-tailed deer.
Author(s): Williams, J. D. and D. E. Harmel
Year: 1986
Abstract: Data from 64 captive-raised white-tailed-deer of known pedigree from the Kerr Wildlife Management Area, Hunt, Texas, were used to estimate the relationship between antler measurements and body weight at 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5 years of age. Thirty two were first generation back-crosses (inbreeding = 0.25) and 32 were not inbred. Simple correlations between the 1.5 and 3.5 year measurements ranged from 0.44 for body weight (1.5) and spread (3.5) to 0.83 for antler weight (1.5) and antler weight (3.5). The correlation between total points at 1.5 and 3.5 was 0.65, however, the correlations between total points at 1.5 and 2.5 was 0.69 and between 2.5 and 3.5 was 0.84 indicating that selection for total points at 1.5 and 2.5 years would produce a significant change in the total points at 3.5 years. Multiple regression analysis was used to estimate 3.5 year measurements. Body weight at 3.5 was best estimated by body weight (1.5) + basal circumference (1.5) (RZ = 0.61). Antler weight (3.5) was best estimated by antler weight (1.5) + spread (1.5) (R2 = 0.70). Total points (3.5) was best estimated by main beam (1.5) + basal circumference (1.5) (R2 = 0.47). These data indicate that body weight, antler weight and total antler points at 3.5 years of age are significantly influenced by yearling measurements and that selection for these traits can be effectively performed at 1.5 years of age.

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