Release Date: 04/18/2006

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and Louisiana State University (LSU) have initiated a new deer telemetry project that will begin in the fall of 2006.  The project is titled "Population Characteristics of a White-tailed Deer Herd in a Bottomland Hardwood Forest of South-central Louisiana."

A. Wilbert's Sons L.L.C. is the primary landowner and cooperator and is also providing technical, logistical and housing support for the researchers.  Michael J. Chamberlain, Ph.D. representing the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources, will direct the research. 

The primary objectives of the study are to assess range and movements of male and female white-tailed deer, evaluate age and sex-specific harvest rates of white-tailed deer and evaluate survival and causes of death among male and female white-tailed deer.

"This telemetry project will provide valuable information for Louisiana deer and land managers," said LDWF Deer Program Manager Scott Durham.  "This information will help refine management plans dedicated towards improving herd health and quality."

Researchers will conduct the study on approximately 40,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forest located west of Baton Rouge and east of the Atchafalaya Basin.  The study area is currently leased to more than 30 private hunting clubs, and each club belongs to a cooperative that promotes quality deer management on the property. 

White-tailed deer are an important economic and recreational resource across their entire range.  In Louisiana and other southeastern states, land managers are choosing strategies geared toward developing quality deer herds.  Because this management regime involves restricting harvest of younger age class bucks and increasing the harvest of females to lower herd density, substantial interest exists in understanding the effects of quality deer management on population characteristics.

Donations for research supplies are needed.  Any person or organization interested in contributing financially to the project should contact Scott Durham, LDWF Deer Program manager, at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70898 or by phone at 225-765-2351.  A fund held by the South Louisiana Quality Deer Management Association has been established to accept the tax deductible donations. 

For more information, contact Scott Durham at sdurham@wlf.louisiana.gov or 225-765-2351.