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Strategies in the Statewide Deer Management Plan, April 2011

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Strategies in the Statewide Deer Management Plan, April 2011

  1. 1. Strategies in the Statewide Deer Management Plan <ul><li>Continue to monitor all mule deer populations annually to evaluate fawn production, herd composition, and habitat use. </li></ul><ul><li>Implement a method to collect annual adult doe and fawn mortality estimates on representative units statewide. </li></ul><ul><li>Use standardized, reliable population models to evaluate herd size and population trends over time. </li></ul>
  2. 2. Specific Items Discussed <ul><li>How data are collected on individual units within a region </li></ul><ul><li>What information, derived from field observations, goes into a population model </li></ul><ul><li>Present a simplified deer model </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is the Herd Composition on a Given Unit? <ul><li>Continue to monitor all mule deer populations annually to evaluate fawn production, herd composition, and habitat use. </li></ul><ul><li>Classify deer when congregated on winter ranges (often during rut) </li></ul><ul><li>Representative sample areas of entire unit </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent sampling year after year </li></ul>
  4. 4. La Sals <ul><li>Sampling areas </li></ul>
  5. 5. Methods <ul><li>Daily peaks of activity: 1-2 hours after dawn and 1-2 hours before dusk (no spotlight counts) </li></ul><ul><li>200 doe minimum (may vary by population size) </li></ul><ul><li>Partial classifications discarded </li></ul>
  6. 6. Methods <ul><li>One count per area </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid interference events (storms, full moons, weekend events) </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent observers (fall / spring counts) </li></ul>
  7. 7. What are we Quantifying <ul><li>Post Season (November) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buck:Doe ratios </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fawn:Doe ratios </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fawn:Adult ratios </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spring Classification </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fawn:Adult ratios </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fawn survival estimate </li></ul></ul>
  8. 13. Fawn Survival <ul><li>Implement a method to collect annual adult doe and fawn mortality estimates on representative units statewide. </li></ul><ul><li>Comparing (s) from collar data vs spring classification (preliminary) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Within 6% on 2 units </li></ul></ul>
  9. 14. How/When are Data Collected <ul><li>June, fawn production </li></ul><ul><li>Fall, buck harvest </li></ul><ul><li>Jan, population estimate </li></ul><ul><li>April-May, survival estimates </li></ul><ul><li>Fall class – F:D ratio </li></ul><ul><li>Check stations, mandatory reporting, harvest surveys </li></ul><ul><li>All ratios collected in spring and fall </li></ul><ul><li>Collars, F:A ratios, range rides, habitat assessment </li></ul>
  10. 15. Data Used in Models <ul><li>All data used in models are derived from field observations from individual units </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fawn:Doe ratio’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Survival rates of adult deer and fawns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Harvest of bucks and does </li></ul></ul>
  11. 16. 190 16807 68 6477 88 1250 South Manti Central Mountains C 16 196 11309 83 4226 56 1021 North Manti Central Mountains B 16 37340 14714 3440 1424 7414 213 3647 107 918 Nebo Central Mountains A 16 188 49 47 0 188 0 49 0 47 Henry Mountains Henry Mountains A 15 14 201 6 50 7 45 Elk Ridge San Juan B 14 6818 2798 1123 249 6354 93 2649 89 982 Abajo San Juan A 14 0 72 0 18 0 17 Dolores Triangle La Sal B 13 3737 1438 475 0 3665 0 1420 0 458 LaSal Mtn La Sal A 13 0 280 0 183 0 44 San Rafael South San Rafael B 12 2162 999 334 105 1777 43 773 42 248 San Rafael North San Rafael A 12 44 2348 32 835 36 286 Range Creek Nine Mile B 11 days hunters harvest doe_day buck_day doe_hunters buck_hunters doe buck Subunit Unit SU Unit
  12. 17. DATA USED FOR HUNT RECOMMENDATIONS <ul><li>BUCK DEER </li></ul><ul><li>3 year average buck/doe ratio </li></ul><ul><li>age data on PLE units </li></ul><ul><li>ANTLERLESS DEER </li></ul><ul><li>Population status relative to objective (model estimate), range condition, and depredation </li></ul>
  13. 18. Utah is not Unique in Data Collection <ul><li>Every western state collects: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buck:Doe ratio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fawn:Doe ratio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abundance or population size </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most states collect: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fawn recruitment </li></ul></ul>
  14. 19. Models Simplified <ul><li>3. Use standardized, reliable population models to evaluate herd size and population trends over time. </li></ul><ul><li>Population growth is driven by survival of adult does and production and survival of fawns </li></ul>
  15. 20. JAN. 2009 DEER MODEL 158 BUCKS (30B:100D) 526 DOES 316 FAWNS (60F:100D) 1,000 TOTAL SPRING CLASSIFICATION 134 BUCKS (S=0.85) 447 DOES (S=0.85) 221 FAWNS (S=.70) 802 TOTAL SUMMER RECRUITMENT 245 BUCKS 557 DOES PRODUCTION FAWNS 802 ADULTS + FAWNS NOV. CLASSIFICATION 31 B:100 D 60 F:100 D 46 F:100 A HARVEST -75 BUCKS -10 DOES 0 FAWNS -85 TOTAL JAN. 2010 DEER MODEL 170 BUCKS 547 DOES 328 FAWNS 1,045 TOTAL DEER
  16. 21. Recommendations are a Year Round Process <ul><li>Every piece of data we collect revolves around what are we going to recommend in the future </li></ul><ul><li>Biologists literally spend hundreds of hours geared towards recommendations and herd management for individual units </li></ul>
  17. 22. Models are Nothing More than Calculators <ul><li>They allow us to estimate populations quickly for individual units </li></ul><ul><li>They are driven by data collected from the field (ratios, harvest, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>They get better with time </li></ul><ul><li>They are exceptional at detecting and presenting trends in population status </li></ul>
  18. 23. SUMMARY <ul><li>Methods for data collection are sound and replicable </li></ul><ul><li>Models are driven by data collected from the field </li></ul><ul><li>All hunt recommendations must reflect action towards management plans </li></ul><ul><li>Biologists are working hard to meet strategies in the management plan for mule deer </li></ul>
  19. 24. Thank You

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