A steady increase in archery hunting participation and frequent changes in hunter regulations led to an evaluation of harvest data used in a common white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population model. Our goal was to determine if model parameters and population estimates traditionally estimated solely by firearm harvest data were biased with respect to altered sex and age ratios brought about by increases in archery hunting and harvest success. The sex-age-kill (SAK) model, commonly used by state agencies, was developed in the mid-1900s when deer numbers were low and firearm harvest was predominant. Management actions were concentrated on increasing deer numbers, and model assumptions relied heavily on a stable age distribution and a minimal antlerless deer harvest. We evaluated the reliance of SAK in a modern hunting scenario using a 10-year dataset obtained from Michigan, USA, that encompassed a variety of climatic regions, hunting seasons, and regulation scenarios. We found that firearm and archery harvest sex and age ratios differed among 5 geographic groups and study years for males, females, and fawns (P <0.001, P = 0.001, and P = 0.037, respectively). Also, the addition of archery harvest data increased population estimates but did not alter overall trends. We recommend that managers reassess harvest-based population estimates in 2 situations: 1) if regulation changes affect antlerless deer harvest, and 2) when trends in hunter success rates cause fluctuations in harvest data.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 72 • No. 4