David E. Steffen

Multi-state Qualitative Chronic Wasting Disease Risk Assessment

Random active surveillance for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in free-ranging populations of cervids is challenging due to low prevalence and heterogeneous distribution of the disease. Furthermore, geographic areas are at different levels of risk for exposure to CWD depending on the presence of various risk factors. Based on the assumption that areas of Virginia in proximity to concentrations of farmed or captive deer or elk are at the highest risk for the introduction of CWD into the free-ranging white-tailed deer population (Odocoileus virginianus), the Virginia Department of Game and...


Forest Clearings Management: Insects and Vegetation for Wild Turkey Broods

Insects and herbaceous vegetation important to young eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo sylvestris) may be enhanced in forested areas by managing clearings. Natural resource agencies in Virginia and other eastern states have committed significant resources to create and maintain forest clearings to provide habitat for wild turkey broods in predominantly forested areas. However, techniques used to manage clearings often lack definitive ecological justifications. We compared effectiveness of 4 management regimes on forest clearings typical of those used by wildlife managers in the...


Survival of Game Farm, F1-Wild Progeny, and Wild-relocated Northern Bobwhites Using Two Release Methods

We estimated survival rates and cause-specific mortality of radio-marked game farm (N=120), F1-wild progeny (N=120), and wild-relocated northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) (N=80) released on the Amelia Wildlife Management Area (WMA) during October 1998 and March 1999 using the Anchor Covey Release System™ (ACRS) and a habitat release system. Mortality of game farm and F1 bobwhites was high immediately following both releases. During fall, game farm bobwhites survived an average of 1.6 ± 0.2 days and Fl-wild progeny survived 3.3 ± 0.8 days. Post-release survival of game farm and F1...


Hunter Response to Road Closures for Walk-in Turkey Hunting

The quality of spring hunting for eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) gobblers may decline with increased road access. A questionnaire mailed to turkey hunters assessed response to road closures for walk-in hunting on a Mississippi wildlife management area during spring 1986. Because hunters felt road closures improved hunting quality and reduced interference from other hunters, they strongly supported (92%) walk-in turkey hunting. Hunters who disapproved of road closures were significantly older than those who approved. Hunter involvement in the road closure decision...


The Incidence and Implications of Road Hunting During the Dog and No-Dog Deer Seasons in Mississippi

To evaluate the incidence of road hunting during the dog and no-dog portions of the Mississippi deer season, the numbers of road hunting citations from the 1980-1981 and 1982-1983 hunting seasons were determined. Road hunting violations were significantly more common during the dog seasons than during the no-dog seasons. Although road hunting problems during the dog season were caused by unethical behavior of some deer hunters and not due to the use of dogs for deer hunting, the public impact may result in an unfavorable image of dog hunting. Deer hunters (especially during the dog season...


Attitudes Toward Mandatory Hunter Education and Hunter Education Backgrounds of Mississippi Sportsmen

Although Mississippi currently has a hunter education program, there is no mandatory requirement. Therefore questions evaluating attitudes toward mandatory hunter education and hunter safety training backgrounds were included in a mail survey to a sample of 1981-82 Mississippi hunters. The majority (65.7%) of hunters would favor a mandatory hunter education program for new hunters. Graduates of a safety training course were significantly more in favor of mandatory training than non-graduates. Hunters with children had the same attitudes toward mandatory hunter education training as hunters...