A white-tailed deer harvest data-analysis and information system for Virginia

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

A computerized data-analysis and information system, VADMIS (Virginia Deer Management Information System), was developed to summarize and analyze Virginia county, district, region, and state deer harvest data.

Published wildlife literature and state wildlife agency progress reports were reviewed to identify and evaluate potential methods of analyzing and presenting deer harvest data. Meetings and correspondence with Virginia Commission of Game and Inland Fisheries biologists provided significant information regarding current data analysis techniques and information needs of the Game Commission. Data analysis methodologies and computer programs developed during prior graduate research studies at VPI&SU were also reviewed.

An auto-regression system was developed to predict county deer harvests for three season types; bucks-only, either-sex at the beginning or end of a bucks-only season; and either-sex hunting all season. The average accuracy of 1,076 county predictions made between 1962 and 1976, inclusive, was 74.6 percent.

The VADMIS system also summarizes changes in recent county, district, region, and state harvests; produces histograms to illustrate county, district, and state harvest trends; summarizes changes in county season regulations and the associated changes in county deer harvests; summarizes harvest data collected at 15 check stations west of the Blue Ridge mountains; determines optimum deer management regions; and produces contour computer maps to illustrate and identify state-wide harvest trends.

The VADMIS system was designed to facilitate ease of operation, maintenance (data update), and future improvements, modifications, and extensions. Although the VADMIS system was developed for Virginia, in particular, it may be modified for use by other states.