Integrating social considerations into managing white-tailed deer in Minnesota.

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Integrating social considerations into managing white-tailed deer in Minnesota.

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In Minnesota, 500,000 deer hunters annually harvest in excess of 200,000 deer and recent population size can be described as historically high. Integrating social carrying capacity with biological population objectives is a new concept for agency professionals who have historically managed white-tailed deer populations primarily for hunting interests. To manage overall population size, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) sets harvest objectives to determine the number of deer that should be taken in a given area. However, those objectives were set with no clearly defined deer population objective or long-term strategy for managing over-abundant populations, nor was there a mechanism to address situations where harvest opportunity was exhausted. To that end, I developed a method to identify statewide deer population objectives using a public participatory process. Concurrently, I evaluated the attitudes of deer hunters towards regulatory change and implemented a choice methodology to force selection of a management strategy that might achieve a population objective. Over a 3-year period, I also evaluated the attitudes and motivations of hunters participating in experimental regulations to determine factors that contribute to future hunt participation.


University of Minnnesot Ph.D. dissertation. November 2009. Major: Natural Resources Science and Management. Advisor: David C. Fulton, Ph.D., 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 251 pages, appendices A-F. Ill. map (some col.)

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Cornicelli, Louis James. (2009). Integrating social considerations into managing white-tailed deer in Minnesota.. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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