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Relationships of Acorn Abundance and Deer Herd Characteristics in the Southern Appalachians

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We analyzed 11 years of data on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus harvest and acorn production from eight wildlife management areas in northern Georgia for statistical relationships between acorn abundance and deer weight, antler development, and population dynamics. Weights of fawns were correlated with the size of the acorn crop of the same year. Buck weights and antler development were lower 1 year after a poor acorn crop. Relationships between acorn availability and age structure of the harvest indicated that the acorn availability affected reproduction or fawn survival or both. In the Southern Appalachians, deer populations are greatly influenced by acorn availability, which is highly variable from year to year. This could explain why deer quality often does not improve following herd reduction or increased browse availability resulting from timber harvest. South. J. Appl. For. 16(1):5-8.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Game and Fish Division, Gainesville 30501

Publication date: 1992-02-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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