Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Breeding Behavior of Male and Female White-tailed Deer Relative to Age Class

Here is a great read from the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Although the breeding system of white-tailed deer is commonly described as a dominance-based hierarchy, recent studies have documented the breeding success of all age classes of bucks in white-tailed deer. It has been suggested that the breeding success of young bucks is the result of exclusively mating with young does, while older bucks concentrate their efforts on mature does, presumably because these does are more experienced and more likely to recruit one or more fawns. Additionally, older does may not tolerate mating attempts of younger bucks, preferring to mate with dominant bucks. The occurrence of multiple paternity in many white-tailed deer populations indicates that female choice may play an important role in determining the distribution of buck breeding success.

We are sampling litters of fawns and assigning paternity using a panel of genetic markers. Our preliminary results indicate that yearling bucks successfully mate with does of all ages. The mean age of female mates was 5.1, 4.8, and 5.0 for 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5+ year-old bucks, respectively. Additionally, we documented 2 incidents of multiple paternity involving yearling bucks.

The breeding success of young bucks may be restricted to the peak of the breeding season when the most does are in estrous and mature bucks cannot monopolize access to all does. The lack of an association between buck age and doe age is more evidence that overall male-to-male competition may not play an important role in gaining access to does. This ongoing research should provide further insights into breeding behavior and success of while-tailed deer.

Cooperative funding was provided by King Ranch, Inc., Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, and the Quality Deer Management Association.

Source: http://www.ckwri.tamuk.edu/fileadmin/user_upload/docs/Deer_Research/publications_and_Presentations/Current_Research_Abstracts/Breeding_Behavior_of_Male_and_Female_White.pdf

Jason A. Sumners, Randy W. DeYoung, Rodney L. Honeycutt, Stephen Demarais, Mickey W. Hellickson, Kenneth L. Gee, and Robert A. Gonzales

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Operation Deer Watch survey ends but observations can be reported until Oct. 15

Sunday, Sept. 30 marked the end of the Operation Deer Watch survey in Wisconsin, but people still have until Oct. 15 to report their sightings. Department of Natural Resources wildlife researchers conduct they survey each fall, asking the public to report observations of does, fawns and bucks to help in estimating the reproductive status of the state deer herd.

“We have gotten a great response from the public with 1,371 observations reported so far from 576 individuals,” says Brian Dhuey, DNR wildlife research scientist. “Of those, 161 also supplied an email address to have a summary of their observations emailed to them at the end of the survey period.”
Wisconsin's Deer Herd: Priority to Hunters and the DNR
So far, observers have reported 789 bucks, 512 unknowns, 1,512 does without fawns, 313 fawns without does, 546 does with one fawn, 397 does with two fawns, and 55 does with three fawns. Observations have come in from 112 of 139 deer management units in the state. DMU 77M has the greatest number of observations (92), followed by DMU 59B with 69 observations.

While the survey period is over, wildlife watchers can still report their observations from the survey period that ran from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30 through Oct. 15. Observations can be reported by going to the Wisconsin DNR homepage and keyword search “deer watch.”

People cans also send in tally sheets to: Wildlife Surveys, Attn: Brian Dhuey, 2801 Progress Road, Madison, WI 53716.

Researchers will combine the data from the survey with similar data collected from DNR staff. They will use this information along with harvest and age information to estimate deer densities in most of the states deer management units at the end of the hunting season.

Source: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/BreakingNews_Lookup.asp?id=2530

News Release Published: October 3, 2012 by the Central Office
Contact(s): Brian Dhuey, 608-221-6342 or Jes Rees, 608-221-6360

Wisconsin Wolf Season Under Way

As a notice, the DNR has now states that if a quota has been met in any zone before the season ends that they will close the season early.  To make sure the closure of season is communicate, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will provide the following:
Check out the Wisconsin Wolf Hunt Statistics Here on the Wisconsin DNR Website.  Four wolves and counting as the season gets underway.

Link to watch the seasons kill numbers: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/wolf.html
  1. posted notice of the closure on the website;
  2. announced the closure on the telephone reporting system (1-855-299-9653); and
  3. issued a press release announcing the closure.
Notice on the WI DNR website:  NOTE: It is the hunter or trapper's responsibility to determine the closure status of a wolf zone [PDF] prior to attempting to hunt or trap wolf in that zone.