Population Parameters in White-tailed Deer

White-tailed deer are an important component of rangelands and a major economic resource in Texas. Billions of dollars are spent annually on white-tailed deer management and hunting.

East Foundation’s ranches are home to abundant and healthy deer populations that are not influenced by nutritional supplementation, hunting, or other common management practices. As such, deer herds on Foundation lands reflect a natural state, largely free of human involvement. This is unusual for ranches in south Texas.

Additionally, deer exist across all East Foundation ranches. These lands represent a broad range of environmental conditions (e.g., rainfall, soils, and vegetation) found in south Texas.

East Foundation lands are the ideal laboratory to answer questions relating to white-tailed deer populations. Outcomes from these studies often pertain to the region, the state, and in many cases the entire nation.

East Foundation and its research partners address important questions, such as:

  • Are body weights, body condition, antler size, lactation status, and ages different across Foundation lands? If so, why?
  • What is the best way to count deer?
  • Are deer under stress? If so, why? How does stress affect reproduction and other productive processes?
  • Are deer infected with pathogens from ticks?
  • What is the best way to treat deer for ticks?
  • Do deer compete with cattle for shade? If so, which critter wins and why?
  • Which ear-tags are best for marking wild deer?

East Foundation is committed to generating scientific discoveries that benefit landowners and society. Knowledge gained from these unmanaged white-tailed deer herds will allow land stewards to make the best use of rangelands for both cattle production and wildlife conservation.

For more information or questions about this project contact Landon Schofield at lschofield@eastfoundation.net.

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