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Deer Density Control for Comprehensive Forest Management

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A study of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) densities compatible with both silvicultural and wildlife management objectives was initiated on a 5,216-acre area in 1966. Deer densities were estimated from drives before each hunting season and intensive public hunting was employed to control deer density. In October, 1966, a deer density of 27 deer per square mile was prohibiting growth, above three feet, of hardwoods valuable for timber and deer browse. With a 1967 density of 17 deer per square mile, growth of previously browsed hardwoods provided a stocking of 9,200 stems (three feet and over) per acre by June, 1968. Observation of vegetation continues for changes under reduced deer densities, estimated at 13 and 12 deer per square mile in 1968 and 1969, respectively. Annual harvests of 56, 44, 42, and 27 percent of the estimated populations were obtained from 1966 through 1969 through public hunting involving up to 200 hunters per day. This hunting appears to be providing the desired measure of control despite evidence of seasonal immigration and emigration. The excellent access provided by logging roads and skid trails has resulted in effective hunting pressure and an evenly distributed kill. Other aspects of intensive management on a limited forested area are briefly discussed.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Wildlife Technician, Archer and Anna Huntington Wildlife Forest Station, Newcomb, N.Y.

Publication date: November 1, 1970

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
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