Mickey W. Hellickson

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...

Year
2009

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

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...

Year
2008

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...

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

Predicting White-tailed Deer Carrying Capacity Using Grazeable Biomass and Tame Deer

Density-dependent population models likely are inappropriate for whitetailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus texanus) in southern Texas due to variable precipitation. We used a tame-deer technique to estimate carrying capacity and correlated results with precipitation and forage biomass. Carrying capacity estimates using digestible energy (DE) consumed by 12 deer were determined using 2 treatments (supplemented and non-supplemented) during 7 trials. Deer were placed in 14 0.33-ha randomly-located enclosures between May 1990 and May 1991. Mean estimates were 0.62 deer/ha/year (SE = 0.27) for...

Year
1997