Patrick D. Keyser is an associate professor in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries at the University of Tennessee. From 1999 through 2006 he was Wildlife Biologist for MeadWestvaco's Forestry Division based in Rupert, West Virginia, where he oversaw the research program on the MeadWestvaco Wildlife and Ecosystem Research Forest, worked on deer management with hunt clubs, and led management efforts for heritage resources. Prior to 1999 he worked for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. He received his B.S. from Virginia Tech, M.S. from Louisiana State University, and Ph.D. from Clemson University. He recently completed a four-year term as Vice-President-Past-President of the Virginia Chapter of the Wildlife Society.
Response of Adult Sex Ratios to Simulated Harvest Strategies in White-Tailed Deer
Article first published online: 13 DEC 2010
2006 The Wildlife Society
Wildlife Society Bulletin
Volume 34, Issue 5, pages 1273–1279, December 2006
How to Cite
KEYSER, P. D., GUYNN, D. C., KNOX, W. M., KAMMERMEYER, K. E. and CRUM, J. M. (2006), Response of Adult Sex Ratios to Simulated Harvest Strategies in White-Tailed Deer. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 34: 1273–1279. doi: 10.2193/0091-7648(2006)34[1273:ROASRT]2.0.CO;2
- Issue published online: 13 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 13 DEC 2010
- Odocoileus virginianus;
- sex ratios;
- stochastic models;
- white-tailed deer.
We simulated dynamics of exploited white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) herds to study effects of harvest strategy on adult sex ratios. Simulations included 5 levels of adult female mortality (0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, and 40%), 3 levels of adult male mortality (35%, 65%, and 80%), and 3 levels of herd productivity (low, medium, and high) for a total of 45 scenarios. Our simulations were based on density-dependent recruitment models. We also examined a model that included stochastic recruitment. Prehunt adult sex ratios remained stable and generally below 3.5:1 (F:M) at lower relative densities and became much wider above about 70% relative density. Declining recruitment at higher densities was the most important factor controlling adult sex ratios. Adult female mortality affected sex ratios more by influencing recruitment than by direct effects of animals removed. Adult male mortality rates were an important factor controlling sex ratios within the context of relative density. Given the importance of managing white-tailed deer herds to achieve a variety of objectives including biodiversity conservation, hunter recreation, and herd quality, it is essential that managers understand the dynamics of exploited herds.