David G. Hewitt

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....

Year
2014

Survival and Movements of Translocated White-tailed Deer in South Texas

In south Texas, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) translocations have become a common technique for non-lethal means of deer removal with the implementation of a Trap, Transport, and Transplant (TTT) permit program. However, the effectiveness of TTT as a management tool has not been evaluated. We monitored survival, movements, and body condition of 51 adult white-tailed deer from two translocations to two 2,000-ha south Texas properties, one of which was partially enclosed by a 2.5-m net-wire fence. Annual survival of all translocated deer was lower in the partially fenced...

Year
2008

Microhabitat Structure of Winter Turkey Roosts in South Texas

We located 18 Rio Grande wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia; RGWT) winter roost sites and 18 random sites at three study areas in Brooks and Kennedy Counties from December 2006 to February 2008. Our objective was to determine microhabitat structural characteristics of RGWT winter roosts that distinguished them from random locations in south Texas. At each roost, we measured tree height, diameter at breast height (dbh), canopy cover, and tree density. Variables were tested for normality using a Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. A t-test was used to examine differences between roost and...

Year
2008

Breeding Success of Male White-tailed Deer: Implications for Management

The breeding structure of white-tailed deer has been described as dominance based. In age-structured populations relatively few dominant males were thought to do most of the breeding. However, recent studies have documented the successful breeding of all age classes. It has been suggested that the breeding success of young males is the result of exclusively mating with young females, while older males concentration their efforts on mature females. We tested this idea by capturing 337 male white-tailed deer from an age-structured population (>50% of the males ≥ 3.5 years old) in south...

Year
2008

Ruffed Grouse Food Availability in Southwestern Virginia

We initiated a pilot study of fall and winter ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) habitat use, forage availability, and forage-based carrying capacities for an area in southwestern Virginia. Flush counts indicated grouse densities were low and that grouse preferred clearcuts in the fall. Fall forages appeared adequate to support moderate grouse populations. High quality forages (mast and herbaceous leaves) were scarce during the winter and resulted in low carrying capacity estimates. Evergreen forages were abundant in both seasons but toxic properties likely limited their utility.

Year
1992