Comparison of the Camera Estimate to Program CAPTURE to Estimate Antlered White-tailed Deer Populations

We used infrared-triggered cameras to estimate white-tailed deer population size. The camera estimate simplifies analysis of photographs obtained from these cameras and provides an estimate similar to that generated using the models with program CAPTURE. Four surveys of an enclosed property in northeastern Mississippi generated counts of 16, 31, 40, and 14 antlered white-tailed deer using the camera estimate at different camera densities and at different time periods. Indentifying individuals by antler characteristics and analyzing the data using program CAPTURE estimated the population of bucks for the same 4 surveys of the same property to be 13 (95%CI= 12-27), 30 (95% CI = 20-169), 22 (95% CI = 21-41), and 11 (95% CI = 8-27) respectively. All camera estimates fell within the 95% confidence interval for program CAPTURE when models correcting for heterogeneity of capture and bias due to time and behavior were employed. Results indicated that the camera estimate is useful for estimation of antlered white-tailed deer populations where Lincoln-Petersen models are appropriate and possibly for more complex sampling situations if photographs capture a large percentage of the population.

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