Charlie H. Killmaster

Variation in White-tailed Deer Antler Size: The Effects of Age, Landscape Composition, and Physiographic Province

SEAFWA Journal Volume 6, March 2019

Spatial variation in landscape composition can influence phenotypic expression in wildlife species and can improve management efforts to express certain phenotypic traits. We evaluated the influence of age, landscape composition, and physiographic province on white-tailed deer (Odo- coileus virginianus) antler characteristics using data from 16,622 male deer (age range: 1.5–3.5+ years old) harvested between 1997–2016 across five physiographic provinces in Georgia. Age and physiographic province influenced antler size index (ASI; P < 0.001). ASI of yearling males was greatest (x- = 53.37...

Understanding Deer, Bear, and Forest Trends in the North Georgia Mountains: The Value of Long-term Data

SEAFWA Journal Volume 5, March 2018
Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper

Most state wildlife agencies collect harvest data to inform management decisions. However, these data are typically considered across relatively short time periods and are rarely revisited. We present a case study using historical records to investigate potential agents (i.e., harvest, predation, and forest change) influencing the declining white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population in the north Georgia mountains. We used long-term black bear (Ursus americanus) and deer harvest data, and indices of forest stand conditions from 1979-2015 on eight Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)...

Using Deer-vehicle Collisions to Map White-tailed Deer Breeding Activity in Georgia

SEAFWA Journal Volume 2, March 2015

The most commonly used method to determine the timing of breeding for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is to measure fetuses from deceased animals. However, this method is resource-intensive and can only provide data for limited geographic areas. Numerous studies have reported that deer-vehicle collisions (DVCs) increase during the breeding season due to increased deer movements associated with breeding activity. Based on these observations, we obtained records of DVCs in Georgia from 2005 - 2012 (n=45,811) to determine when peaks in DVCs occurred for each county in Georgia. We...

Seasonal and Spatial Variation in Diets of Coyotes in Central Georgia

SEAFWA Journal Volume 2, March 2015

We used scat analysis to evaluate the food habits and potential impacts of coyotes (Canis latrans) on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations in Georgia's Piedmont physiographic region. From March 2010 - February 2011, we analyzed 146 and 207 coyote scats on Cedar Creek (CC) and B. F. Grant (BFG) Wildlife Management Areas, respectively. Although separated by only 8 km, habitat composition and therefore prey availability was dissimilar between sites. We assumed small mammal density was greater on BFG than CC because early successional habitat was more common on BFG (28% of...

Home Range, Habitat Use, and Movement Patterns of Female Coyotes in Georgia: Implications for Fawn Predation

SEAFWA Journal Volume 2, March 2015

Coyote (Canis latrans) depredation rates on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawns are variable across the southeastern United States, perhaps due to varying dispersion of coyotes as related to social behavior and habitat preferences. To evaluate fawn predation risk related to coyote distribution, we studied home range patterns and habitat use of 15 female coyotes during the 2012-2013 fawning periods. Seasonal home range sizes varied but followed two general patterns. Small home range coyotes (SHR; likely breeding females) had a mean home range area of 7.4 km2 (CL = 5....