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Spot Light Counts of White-tailed Deer Reveal High Densities
Midwest Region, December 7, 2006
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During the past decade white-tailed deer at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge have caused considerable damage to the under-story of the bottomland forest as well as refuge croplands and agricultural fields adjacent to the boundary. 

In an effort to reduce deer damage, a refuge hunt was established in 1988 and has taken place, in various forms, since that time.

Deer surveys on the refuge have taken place annually since 1988.  These counts have consisted of a combination of aerial surveys, daytime ground counts and spotlight counts.  In an effort to obtain annual deer densities, the refuge began using distance sampling techniques in 1999.

Four spotlight surveys were conducted during the fall of 2006 using the above mention technique.  The combined data from the 4 surveys showed a density of 105 deer per square mile with confidence limits of 55 to 200.  Even if the lower limit was 55 deer/sqmi, the level is more than twice the desired range in good  Missouri  deer habitat.  Future deer hunts on Squaw Creek will be used to maximize the harvest of antlerless deer. 

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov



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