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Hunting: A look inside the biologists' black box (estimating deer populations) January 2, 2011 Maine






Hunting: A look inside the biologists' black box (estimating deer populations) January 2, 2011 Maine Press Herald 

... And they pick apart wildlife biologists when they fail to get their deer. Wildlife management is an inexact, albeit very complex discipline. ...They have roughly 25 years worth of deer harvest data under fairly consistent seasons, regulations and bag limits. The number of hunters, the level of hunting pressure and success rates do not change considerably from one year to the next.

Deer hunting success during the 2009 regular firearms season was around 11 percent (relatively poor on a nationwide scale). Firearms hunters who possessed an any-deer permit had an average 34 percent success rate while those restricted to bucks only averaged a 15 percent success rate.

We also know, based on license sales, about how many hunters will head afield each fall (that too is an estimate, based on another index). Multiply the expected number of hunters by their typical success rate and you get an estimate of the deer kill.


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