Cost-Benefit Analysis of Managed Shotgun Hunts for Suburban White-Tailed Deer [unknown]

Deer managers often utilize managed hunts to curtail burgeoning white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations in suburban areas. Although several studies have used population modeling to focus management, these efforts generally provide only harvest numbers, without considering the spatial placement of hunters on the landscape. Further, few studies have modeled management effort as deer density changes during the hunt. We modeled 2 types of managed shotgun hunts, a replacement hunt,
more » ... eplacement hunt, where the stand of each successful hunter would be filled the following day, thus, ensuring the same number of hunters would be present each day of the hunt, and a non-replacement hunt, for Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. We modeled population growth of deer and numerical response to harvest to 25%, 50%, and 75% reduction levels. We used a GIS to determine potential hunter numbers and their placement on the landscape. We then used data from the literature to model optimal season length and to estimate the costs and benefits of the 2 managed shotgun hunt types. The non-replacement hunt was less expensive overall and had a lower cost per day, but the replacement hunt was more cost-efficient in terms of deer harvested and could meet higher population reduction goals. Our study illustrates the importance of considering cost, hunter placement, and effort prior to conducting a managed shotgun hunt for suburban deer.
doi:10.26077/bn58-7y35 fatcat:tudqjwm7rbbcxakblykq6cou34