Abstract

Title:  Preliminary observations of mortality and emigration in a coastal South Carolina population of white-tailed deer.
Author(s): Turner, E. J., T. Fendley, D. Shipes, and W. E. Roberts
Year: 1995
Abstract: Effective management of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations requires a knowledge of mortality and emigration rates and the factors affecting these rates. The paper presents preliminary findings from the first two years of a 3-year telemetry study investigating age- and sex-specific mortality rates in a population of deer under restricted hunter harvest. Deer equipped with radio-transmitters were monitored daily to detect mortality and emigration. Causes of mortality were categorized as either harvest (legal and illegal) or non-harvest (predation, disease, malnutrition/parasitism, auto collision, and accidents). In the first year of the study, 44 deer were monitored from 2 January 93 to 1 January 94. Crude annual mortality for the first year,of the study, in which there was heavy flooding, was 36% (16 of 44). Fifty-six percent (9 of 16) of these were non-harvest mortalities, and 44% (7 of 16) were harvest mortalities. Six (86%) of the harvest mortalities occurred off-site. Eleven percent (5 of 44) of the monitored deer established stable off-site ranges during the first year of the study. During the second year of the study, 60 deer were monitored from 2 January 94 to 1 January 95. Crude annual mortality for the second year of the study was 25% (15 of 61). Forty percent (6 of 15) of these were non-harvest mortalities. And 60% (9 of 15) were harvest mortalities. Three (33%) of the harvest mortalities occurred off-site. Ten percent (6 of 60) of the monitored deer established stable off-site ranges during the second year of the study.

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