State wildlife agencies struggle to regulate predator numbers against deer herd management plans. The introduction of wolves in some areas made the balancing act even more complicated.
To get a read on how predators impact deer herds, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is launching a new round of research.
From Wisconsin Ag Connection:
This study will measure the role of predation on recruitment which is the number of deer added to the population each year by fawns surviving into the fall. Researchers will gather data on doe pregnancy rates and litter sizes and fawn survival and causes of mortality from birth to the hunting season.
Wisconsin hunters pressed the DNR to investigate predation following a low 2009-10 deer harvest.
“Many hunters are concerned with our deer population model accuracy and the impacts of predators,” said Keith Warnke, big game ecologist for the DNR. “In response to those concerns the department is investing a record amount of its resources into this research.”