A measure of the natural potential of land for supporting deer populations

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


A model of the inter- and intra-seasonal energy flow through deer populations ,.;as developed through the use of the existing literature. The model was programmed in Fortran IV for computer based use in evaluating the potential biological productivity of land for deer. The model was developed specifically for evaluating land being considered for acquisition for deer-management areas.

The model uses "Standard Deer Units" (an integration of climatic, behavior, and range characteristics affecting the energy dynamics of the deer) as a measure of the energy available for the production and maintenance of deer. Estimation of successional changes in cover and forage production are made by use of a flexible statistical distribution model known as a .Jeibull distribution. Indices of the potential sightable and harvestable deer production are calculated in standard deer units at 5-year intervals over a 50-year planning horizon.