White-tailed deer herd size across the southcentral states continues to increase. Concurrent with this increase has come a total harvest level increase for most states. Southcentral states have increased bag limits on antlerless deer to insure that herd health is maintained as herd sizes approach total carrying capacity. Harvest growth rates, however, show irregularities from year to year. The cyclic pattern of harvest (and population) growth rate is of shorter duration than would be expected in a large ungulate population. An exogenous influence is suspected. Cyclic patterns in harvest growth rates move opposite the growth rate of epizootic hemorrhagic disease incidence in southcentral counties. Initial results suggest causality between disease incidence and harvest growth rate. As herds approach carrying capacity on many southern sites, management challenges increase.
Kluender, Richard A.; Tappe, Philip A.; and Cartwright, Michael E.
"Long-Term White-Tailed Deer Harvest Trends for the Southcentral United States,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 46
, Article 5.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol46/iss1/5