How could this be? If AR is working; and we all know it is not about antlers, right, it is about the B
ratio to help breeding, the Age structure that is said also to help breeding and having more bucks around to do the left over breeding. One might ask. What left over breeding? Well lets just call it the breeding of the fawns. I know it sounds silly to stress our young Doe fawns over winter with the burden of producing fawns but that was part of the plan on how to have more with less.
Low be it me to suggest it is silly to force fawns to reproduce before there body is developed enough and they barely have enough weight to make the winter by then self. But who cares they don't give us antlers. Right?
We all know that it is ok to burden a 6 or 8 month old female but it is a sin to allow a 1.5 year old male to mate because it could affect his rack size the next year.
Any way it seems that there has been no improvement in deer health from before AR to last season. ( this year's is not on the street)
I used 1999 because it is the oldest on the PGC page I used to look it up. It represents before AR but not before some HR took place. Seems fair to use because it shows more of any effect or lack of effect of AR vice HR/AR.
I used 2011 because it is the latest and greatest.
So here it is back in 99 according to the data we had 91% of our adult females bred and 29% of our fawns bred.
Remember the D:B ratio was just on the low side of 3:1 ( <3:1 ) and we had many more yearling buck as part of our harvest. 3:1 is considers poor so we were just north of having a poor ratio. Not to mention it has been said that the age structure was skewed toward younger buck. That is said to be a bad thing especially for breeding purposes. Seems like we needed AR to fix this problem, at least that is what was being said and still is being held onto as a reason we needed AR.
Jump to the present and it is now 2011 when we check the data to see how far we have come in our progress. According to the data we had 89% of our adult Doe bred and 24% of our female fawns bred.
One could say it is not progress it is regress. I say it is a stalemate. No change.
So keeping antler size out of it. What has AR done for the health of the herd?
99- Pregnant fawns averaged 1.30 embryos each. Where pregnant adults averaged 1.79 embryos each.
11- Pregnant fawns averaged 1.20 embryos each. The pregnant adults averaged 1.75 embryos each.
Again it looks like a stalemate. Or IMHO AR still did nothing.
Now the kicker. When barren females are included into the mix it seems we have lost some ground. It seems there were more barren females in the sample from 2011 than from 99. That is it seems that way unless someone can explain away the resulting net loss in embryos per female in both age classes and in all age classes collectively.
It would suggest that the additional "saved" bucks are not getting the job done no matter the slight increase in age. Don't believe me. Look it up it is on the PGC web site. Need a link just ask. Waugh!
WCOs provided usable reproductive data from 1,703 females examined during the 1999 prefawning season.
The 1999 sample was 3% smaller than in 1998. Twenty-nine percent of the fawns, 87% of yearlings, and
91% of the adults were pregnant. Pregnant fawns averaged 1.30 embryos/doe, pregnant yearlings 1.74
file:///C|/Game/pgc/reports/wildlife_rep/99wmar/21001-99.htm (2 of 17) [10/29/2003 11:18:59 AM]
Estimating County Deer Population Sizes & Growth Rates
embryos/doe, and pregnant adults 1.79 embryos/doe. The average reproductive rates for pregnant and barren
fawns, yearlings, and adults were 0.37, 1.51, and 1.63 embryos/doe, respectively. The average reproductive
rate for all females was 1.06 embryos/doe.
Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) personnel examined 917 females during the 2010 pre-fawning season. Five hundred and forty-three were pregnant. Twenty-four percent of
the fawns, and 89% of the adults were pregnant or lactating. Pregnant fawns averaged 1.20 embryos/female. Pregnant adults averaged 1.75 embryos/female. The average reproductive rates for pregnant and barren fawns and adults were 0.28 and 1.53 embryos/female, respectively. The average reproductive rate for all females was 0.99 embryos/doe (Table 1).