American Hunter - December 2012 - 25

Photo: Dusan Smetana / WindigoImages.com

2010 Antlered Whitetail Harvest

"earn-a-buck" regulations in parts
Maine
or all of their states.
12,230
Washington*
Vermont +10%
North Dakota
N.H.
"Earn-a-buck regulations are
8,430
Montana*
30,900
6,015
Minnesota
+5%
+4%
+1%
highly effective at increasing
88,000
New York
Mass.
-7%
Michigan
Oregon*
106,960
antlerless harvests," notes the
5,703
South Dakota
Wisconsin
148,378
+5%
Idaho
+5%
36,377
212,341
-1%
's Whitetail Report 
Penn.
13,665
-10%
R.I.
New Jersey
Wyoming
+10%
122,930 19,925
1,394
8,154
Iowa
(QDMA.com), "but are widely
+13%
+28%
+4%
-5%
Ohio
Nebraska
48,749
Maryland
Conn.
-2%
unpopular among hunters."
37,967
Illinois
Indiana 86,017 West
32,062
5,299
Nevada*
+9%
69,139 53,007 -8% Virginia -2%
-4%
Virginia
Reducing herds also can
Utah*
-1%
58,416
0%
Delaware
95,831
Missouri
-27%
Colorado*
Kentucky
Kansas
be unpopular. Early in the th
-12%
3,993
104,607
59,170
43,047
California*
+15%
North Carolina
-2%
+7%
+9%
century America's hunters footed
80,430
Tennessee
79,859
the bill for much of the whitetail's
South Carolina -1%
Oklahoma
Arkansas
-4%
116,755
63,314
Arizona
comeback and now are actively
82,973
New Mexico*
-3%
-4%
Alabama
5,910
-6%
Georgia
129,000
utilized to manage North America's
155,255
Mississippi * +4%
+11%
game. But the controversy over popula132,167
Texas
Louisiana
357,378
tion goals aside, to some extent the lower
84,425
+19%
While
+4%
Florida*
overall whitetail population has been this map
102,862
accomplished by design.
reveals buck harBeyond the sometimes-controversial vests compared to
measures taken by state game agencies the previous season,
* Incomplete data for particular state
to reduce herds, a few factors affect deer deer populations are
down by about 2.8 million
populations that wildlife managers aren't since 2008. Some biologists are alarmed companies in New England and New York,
and lawsuits against states that thin or
completely sure how to factor in, and it's by this, while others believe it's natural
and healthy for the overall herd.
clear-cut portions of forests. This is a big
these factors some biologists fear.
factor because while a young hardwood
Disease Outbreaks
in the female parts of adult does, which forest can produce , pounds or more
Whitetail hunters drive the hunting indus- were pushed out at birth. When a signal of deer food per acre, a mature forest protry. According to the .. Fish and Wildlife
indicated a birth occurred researchers duces much less-some studies indicate
Service, there are about  million deer headed to the site. They fitted live fawns as little as only - pounds per acre.
hunters in the United States. The licenses
with  collars, and otherwise deter"This, more than any other factor," says
they buy raise about  million annu- mined cause of death. At the end of the Murphy, "is something we can change by
ally for state wildlife agencies, and the gear study researchers concluded coyotes were lobbying our state agencies to manage
they buy generates . billion for the
the biggest factor in this  percent fawn public lands not just for trees, but also for
American economy. So when a deer herd
mortality. The researchers' conclusion: wildlife."
dies off, it's not just hunters who worry.
The Savannah River deer herd can susDie-offs occurred in many parts of
tain itself with this predation, but only if The Future of Deer Management
the country during the summer of . hunter opportunity is diminished.
This last point leads to a frightening diverOutbreaks of hemorrhagic disease ()
So is the Savannah River predation sion of opportunity. Historically, hunting
in whitetail herds took place from North
rate an anomaly?
on public land was comparable to that on
Carolina to Montana.  is the most sigOverall, the average fawn survival rate private land, but over the last few decades
nificant viral disease that impacts white- declined significantly from -. The this has been changing. Now the discreptails annually. It is an infectious, blood-  says, according to state statistics, the ancy in quality is widening as habitat genborne disease of deer and elk transmitted
rate (to  months) was . fawns per adult erally ages on public land. As public lands
by biting midges or flies; it is caused by doe in  but just . in . Regionally, become less diverse ecosystems, private
either of two closely related viruses, epi- it varied. In Michigan just . fawns made landowners tend to do a better job improvzootic hemorrhagic disease () virus
it to  months whereas in Iowa . per doe ing habitat, so much so that, incredibly,
or bluetongue () virus. According to
lived until fall. In the Northeast, Maine had from -, hunters logged a record
the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife
the highest fawn recruitment rate (.), fol- , whitetail bucks with the Boone &
Disease Study (), in   states
lowed by Pennsylvania (.).
Crockett Club. These , bucks make
reported suspected cases of . When 
up nearly  percent of all the whitetails
occurs, massive die-offs can take place in Aging Habitat
in the club's book.
A  study on land-use changes across the
Though herd management is a very
segments of the overall population.
whitetail's range done by Mark A. Drum- regional issue and antler size is not necesPredators on the Increase
mond of the .. Geological Survey indi- sarily a measure of a quality experience, it is
A recent five-year study on fawn survival
cated forestland in the Northeast decreased certainly true that the next great movement
on the Savannah River, led by Forest Ser- by an estimated . percent from -, in deer hunting needs to be centered on how
mostly due to urban development. Mean- game managers can improve the quality of
vice researcher Dr. John Kilgo, indicated
that less than a quarter of whitetail fawns
while, much of the forest cover across the environments on public lands. If this
born in the spring live until autumn. The Appalachia has been aging due to mas- doesn't occur, deer hunting as an American
sive reductions in acres logged by timber pastime could decline substantially. ah
study used radio transmitters implanted
. ❘

 ❘  


http://www.QDMA.com http://www.WindigoImages.com http://www.americanhunter.org

American Hunter - December 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - December 2012

American Hunter - December 2012 - 1
American Hunter - December 2012 - 2
American Hunter - December 2012 - 3
American Hunter - December 2012 - 4
American Hunter - December 2012 - 5
American Hunter - December 2012 - 6
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American Hunter - December 2012 - 104
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