Demarais and Strickland presented several questions about the scope and validity of conclusions regarding predictability of mature antler size based on yearling antler size and produced a simulation model reported to demonstrate measurement bias in our 2008 study. We believe our conclusions were appropriate with our research hypothesis and demonstrated the assumed differential selection bias by hunters used in Demarais and Strickland was unwarranted. Demarais and Strickland provided no metadata to document the provenance of data used in their model and did not account for location, year, cohort, nutrition of research animals, or loss of individuals from their sample population by accidents or death: the same questions raised in their critique. Additionally, selection and experimental design problems in a portion of their sample population indicate their model results are questionable. Our responses to Demarais and Strickland will aid wildlife managers in making future culling decisions in white-tailed deer management.
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Vol. 74 • No. 2