Charles A. DeYoung

Evaluation of Population Estimates of White-tailed Deer from Camera Survey

SEAFWA Journal Volume 1, March 2014

Use of trail cameras to make population estimates of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) has increased since an estimator was developed by Jacobson et al. (1997). We evaluated the accuracy of the camera estimator in six 81-ha enclosures with varying densities of deer replicated on two study areas. Baited camera surveys were conducted for 14 days in autumn and winter. We also tested the finding from previous studies that the probability of sighting bucks and does in photographs was equal. Finally, we conducted an open range test by comparing a camera survey to a helicopter survey....


Does Supplemental Feeding of Deer Degrade Vegetation? A Literature Review

Artificially feeding deer is controversial, particularly in North America. Our objective was to determine if published literature supports the hypothesis that supplemental feeding of deer leads to overuse of palatable plants and vegetation degradation. We found 16 papers regarding the feeding of deer through a search of the literature since 1989. Recent studies have not provided conclusive evidence that supplemental feeding of deer enables herbivores to concentrate feeding on the most palatable native foods in their environment or that it results in degradation of vegetation within the...


Behavioral Responses of Male White-tailed Deer to Antler Rattling

We observed 111 male white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) responses to four antler rattling sequences performed 171 times during 1992-1995. Thirty-three additional sessions were performed within 200 m of 18 radio-transmittered males during 1994-96. The four sequences, short and quiet (n = 43), short and loud (n = 45), long and quiet (n = 43), and long and loud (n = 40), varied by rattling duration and volume. Sequences were randomly chosen and performed near 17 observation towers to test which attracted the greatest number of males. Loud rattling attracted nearly three times as...


Physical Characteristics for Age Estimation of Male White-tailed Deer in Southern Texas

Criteria for visually estimating age of live white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the field are becoming more important as the popularity of non-traditional deer management programs increase. We measured gross Boone and Crockett Club (BCC) score, number of antler points, inside antler spread, main beam length, antler basal circumference, chest girth, stomach girth, shoulder height, head length, and interorbital width and evaluated which characteristics had the greatest potential for use as predictors of age for <766 live-captured males and live and dressed mass for <65...


Mass Estimation of White-tailed Deer in Southern Texas

Predictive equations based on various body measurements have provided wildlife managers with practical and reliable estimates of deer mass, but have not been reported for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the Western Rio Grande Plain region of Texas, nor for male white-tailed deer in Texas. To address this need, we assessed relationships among live mass and dressed mass, chest girth, shoulder height, hoof length and width, and gross Boone and Crockett Club (BCC) score. Regression analyses indicated live mass of mature (>5.5 years old) males can be predicted with a model...


Classifying Male White-tailed Deer from a Helicopter

We evaluated how well observers in a helicopter classed male white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) into groups ≤3.5 or ≥4.5 years old. Resightings of individually marked anti previously aged deer on 2 southern Texas ranches were used for evaluation during repeated helicopter surveys from 1986 to 1988. Classifications of marked males were at least ≥90% correct on 11 of 14 flights on 1 ranch and 6 of 14 on the other. Although accuracy was acceptable on many flights, some flights gave inaccurate estimates (> 10% misclassified) of male composition. Because managers make only a single,...


Accuracy of Track Counts to Estimate White-tailed Deer Abundance

We assessed the accuracy of population estimates of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) determined from track counts by comparing them with aerial mark-recapture estimates on 2 southern Texas areas. Track counts produced very conservative estimates in relation to mark-recapture methods and failed to detect a population increase on 1 area. However, they reflected a large difference in density between the 2 areas.


Comparison of Inventory Methods for Wild Turkeys in South Texas

Line transect, mark-recapture, and 200-m strips counted from a truck were compared as methods of estimating numbers of Rio Grande wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) on a 5,700-ha south Texas study area. Line transect produced the highest population estimate (N = 561, SE = 78), followed by 200-m truck strip (N = 312, SE = 53), and mark-recapture (N = 278, SE = 28). Compliance with underlying assumptions was assessed for each method. The line transect method was judged most promising for further evaluation.