Identifier

etd-04152004-114153

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Renewable Natural Resources

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

I monitored 60 radio-collared and tagged pen-raised white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) to ascertain mortality rates on three areas in Louisiana from April 2001 - April 2002. Two of 60 were not used in the analysis because mortality occurred from complications with darting and an affixed radio-collar. Study deer were exposed to legal hunting mortality only if they emigrated from the three study areas. Twenty deer were released to the wild on the Louisiana State University Deer Study Area (LSUDSA) (4,810 ha), where 9 of 20 (45%) suffered mortality. Harvest accounted for 56%, vehicles 22%, and other 22% of the mortality on the LSUDSA. Two groups of 20 were released into 2 high fence enclosures, (275 ha and 608 ha), where 4 of 20 (20%) and 1 of 18 (6%) suffered mortality, respectively. Other mortality accounted for 100% of the losses in the high fence enclosures. Mortality rates were significantly lower in penned deer than in the released deer (Chi-Square 8.33 2df, P<0.05). These results suggest that high fence enclosures reduce emigration and hence deaths caused by hunting and vehicles and may reduce overall mortality. These results also suggest that a higher harvestable surplus may result from high fencing.

Date

2004

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

John Andrew Nyman

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