Mortality of pen-raised and wild white-tailed deer bucks

  • Published source details McCall T.C., Brown R.D. & DeYoung C.A. (1988) Mortality of pen-raised and wild white-tailed deer bucks. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 16, 380-384.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in family/social groups

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in family/social groups

    A study in 1984–1987 in two shrubland ranches in Texas, USA (McCall et al. 1988) found that most captive-bred white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus released in groups that had been reared together died within one year of release, whereas all monitored wild deer survived at least one year. Eight out of 13 (62%) captive-bred white-tailed deer died within one year post-release but all 20 wild deer survived. Thirteen captive-bred white-tailed male deer (average age: 1.7 years) were released into two ranches (extending over 25,900 ha and 15,379 ha) in January 1987. Additionally, 20 wild male deer were caught and released. In 1984–1986, ten captive-bred deer were removed from their mothers at 2–4 days old and bottle-raised by humans. Three others were raised by their mothers until four months old. After removal from their mothers, captive-bred deer were kept in 1.2-ha pens. All deer were ear-tagged and fitted a radio-collar. Deer were radio-tracked after release, on average every 25 days, from an airplane. A two month hunting season was in place on both ranches during 1987.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

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