White-tailed Deer Research

Research Activities

Initial collaring

Researcher setting up a net

Beginning in January 2015, the study will monitor deer of all age and sex classes for 5 years by capturing and placing GPS collars on 120 deer at both study areas.

Capture goals

  • 30 yearling bucks
  • 30 adult bucks
  • 30 females (yearling and adults combined)
  • 30 fawns

We will annually replenish the sample of collared deer due to natural and hunting mortalities, as well as deer maturing to older age classes.

Adult deer will be captured and collared from January through March by using Clover traps and rocket nets.

Deer will be marked with a small metal ear tag and equipped with a GPS collar that transmits the location of the deer to researchers daily. The GPS collars also notify researchers if a mortality occurs. When a mortality signal is received, researchers attempt to document the cause of death with a necropsy in the field or in the lab.

Adult female deer will be chemically immobilized and pregnancy status will be determined in the field with portable ultrasound units. Pregnant does will be given a transmitter that will alert researchers when births occur, allowing the research team to locate, capture, and collar fawns in the spring.

Deer fawns are given an expandable collar that will allow researchers to monitor their survival until approximately 6 months of age, at which time the collar falls off.

Researcher setting up a net Researcher setting up a net