Wounding Rates of White-tailed Deer with Traditional Archery Equipment

We captured and affixed radio collars to 80 male white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) during 1995-1997 to ascertain the wounding rate and proportion of deer that die from hunter-inflicted wounds. Our study population was hunted only with traditional archery equipment (recurve and longbows). Of the 22 deer shot by archers, 11 were recovered by the hunter, resulting in a 50% wounding rate (deer shot but not recovered). Only 3 (14%) of the 22 deer shot by hunters died and were not recovered. Based upon demographic and harvest statistics, these estimates indicate that approximately 4% of adult males in the population die from archery related wounds annually and are never recovered.

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