Factors influencing the white-tailed deer harvest in Virginia, 1947-1967 \
Mechler, John Louis
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Virginia's deer kill data, 1947 to 1967, were analyzed. Multiple linear regression analysis was used as the deer kill, in general, is still increasing in the counties of Virginia. The data concerning proximity, access, human population, farm size, farmland uses, and the types and acreages of forest stands were studied in 10 western Virginia counties. Correlation analysis was used for this data. The significant variables were identified but were not included in the multiple linear regression analysis because yearly estimates were not available. Estimates of deer density made by personnel of the Virginia Commission of Game and Inland Fisheries are very reliable and are significantly correlated with deer kill. Variables concerning weather during the hunting season, hunting season regulations and characteristic components of the deer kill in previous hunting seasons were utilized in multiple linear regression analyses of the data from the counties of Virginia. Predictions of deer kill for groups of counties (i.e. management units) are more reliable than predictions for individual counties. It was found that predictions of hunting pressure are not as reliable as predictions of deer kill. Tile shifting of hunters in response to reports of favorable hunting is likely responsible. Analysis of the indices of hunting pressure also revealed that hunting pressure changes with different season types in western Virginia.
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