Effect of limited antlered harvest on mule deer sex and age ratios

  • Published source details Bishop C.J., White G.C., Freddy D.J. & Watkins B.E. (2005) Effect of limited antlered harvest on mule deer sex and age ratios. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 33, 662-668.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Prohibit or restrict hunting of particular sex/ breeding status/age animals

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Prohibit or restrict hunting of particular sex/ breeding status/age animals

    A replicated, before-and-after study in 1983–1998 of four deer management areas in a largely forested region of Colorado, USA (Bishop et al. 2005) found that restricting the harvest of male mule deer Odocoileus hemionus did not increase the number of fawns/adult female deer. After introduction of hunting restrictions, the fawn:adult female deer ratio declined by 7.5 fawns:100 adult females (absolute numbers not presented). During this time, harvests of male deer fell from an average of 788/management area/year to 209/management area/year and the ratio of male:female deer increased by 4.5:100 female deer. Harvests of male deer were unlimited up to 1990. Commencing in 1991 (one area), 1992 (two areas) and 1995 (one area), restrictions were imposed on harvests of male deer, resulting in a fall in average harvests from 788/year pre-restriction to 209/year post-restriction. Aerial deer surveys were carried out in December–January.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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