AGE AND CONDITION OF DEER KILLED BY PREDATORS AND AUTOMOBILES [Research] 1952 Journal of Wildlife Management, Montana

Deer Population and Management News Archive

AGE AND CONDITION OF DEER KILLED BY PREDATORS AND AUTOMOBILES
BART W. O’GARA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812
RICHARD B. HARRIS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Montana,
Missoula, MT 59812

J. WILDL. MANAGE. 52(2):3 16-320 

Abstract: We evaluated the condition of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and white-tailed deer ( 0 .uirginianus) killed by mountain lions (Felti concolor), coyotes (Cants Zatrans), and automobiles from December through March, 1969-81 in western Montana. Predators killed prime-aged animals and automobiles killed (G = 41.4, P < 0.001) more fawns and old-aged animals. Fifty-three deer (90%) killed by automobiles were in poor condition, but only 2 (7%) deer killed by predators were in poor condition. Predator selectivity could not be inferred from the sample of deer killed by automobiles.

Mountain lions on deer winter ranges in western Montana killed deer in prime condition. It is not surprising that a stalk-and-wait predator nearly as large as its prey can do this, but it is not clear why they select prime animals.


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