We used cohort analysis to reconstruct a Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) population from 1979 to 1999 in the western Cascade Range, Washington, USA. We used reconstructed population estimates and age-class representations to analyze relationships among fawn recruitment, deer density, forage availability, and weather influences during the fawning period. Fawn recruitment was found to be significantly correlated with deer density the previous year as well as available forage in the previous year. Weather variables that described cold temperatures early in the fawning period and high precipitation levels during the prime fawning period were found to negatively affect fawn recruitment. Models could be used to assist with management of black-tailed deer by providing an estimate of cohort strength when productivity survey methods prove difficult.
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Vol. 68 • No. 1