In 2003, a cadre of researchers set out to determine what combination of supplemental or natural nutrition and white-tailed deer population density would produce the largest antlers on bucks without harming vegetation. They would come to call this combination “the sweet spot.” Over the course of their 15-year experiment, conducted through the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University–Kingsville, Timothy E. Fulbright, Charles A. DeYoung, David G. Hewitt, Don A. Draeger, and 25 graduate students tracked the effects of deer density and enhanced versus natural nutrition on vegetation conditions. Through wet years and dry, in a semiarid environment with frequent droughts, they observed deer nutrition and food habits and analyzed population dynamics. Containing the results of this landmark, longitudinal study, in keeping with the Kleberg Institute’s mission, this volume provides science-based information for enhancing the conservation and management of Texas wildlife.
Advanced White-Tailed Deer Management: The Nutrition–Population Density Sweet Spot presents this critical research for the first time as a reference for hunters, landowners, wildlife managers, and all those who work closely with white-tailed deer populations. It explains the findings of the Comanche-Faith Project and the implications of these findings for white-tailed deer ecology and management throughout the range of the species with the goal of improving management.
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Published by Texas A&M University Press