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Tuesday, January 30 • 9:40am - 10:00am
UNGULATES: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Antler Point Restrictions to Achieve Various White-tailed Deer Management Goals

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AUTHORS. Rebecca L. Cain, Michigan State University; Brent A. Rudolph, Ruffed Grouse Society; David M. Williams, Michigan State University; William F. Porter, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT. Antler point restrictions (APRs) are designed to protect yearling male white-tailed deer from harvest by hunters. There are three claims that come up when talking about these restrictions: (1) APRs advance the age structure of the white-tailed deer herd where implemented, (2) APRs will lead a smaller deer population due to increased pressure on the female segment of the population, and (3) APRs recruit hunters to the area. While the three claims are common among APR advocates, other groups challenge the validity of these claims. To settle the disagreement we need evidence to support the claims made by APR advocates. In 2013, Michigan implemented APRs in 12 counties in the northwest area of the state. We used a series of piecewise regressions and data from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that was collected before and after the management action to assess the three claims of APR advocates. Based on our results, APRs would be a useful tool where the management goal is to advance the age structure of the male segment of the white-tailed deer herd. However, if the management goal is to increase the antlerless harvest or recruit more hunters to the area, we found no evidence that implementation of APRs would help managers achieve those goals. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am CST