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Simulated effects of harvest strategy on reproduction in white tailed deer odocoileus virginianus

, : Simulated effects of harvest strategy on reproduction in white tailed deer odocoileus virginianus. Journal of Wildlife Management 48(2): 535-541

A deterministic simulation model was used to examine the possible effects of harvest strategy on the temporal aspects of white-tailed deer (O. virginianus) reproduction in Mississippi [USA]. The timing of bucks-only and antlerless deer harvests affected reproductive parameters. Delaying the start of buck hunting from mid-Nov. to mid-Dec. increased the proportion of does serviced on their initial estrus of the season from 0.77-0.91 and resulted in a mean fawning date that was 4 days earlier. Harvesting antlerless deer prior to peak rut allowed the maximum number of does to be serviced on their 1st estrus of the season. Decreasing the harvest rate of bucks from 0.81 to .ltoreq. 0.61 increased the proportion of does serviced on their 1st estrus from 0.76-0.91 and increased the fecundity rate from 1.56-1.61. The model was sensitive to the timing of the rut and the number of does serviced per buck.

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