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Deer Population Study


The Wildlife Division’s Deer Program, along with Wildlife Management Institute staff, monitored does and fawns captured and marked in 2012. An additional 25 does were captured in January through March 2013 in Cornwall (13) and Canaan/North Canaan (12). Immobilized does were fitted with ear tags, a radio transmitting collar, and a temperature sensitive vaginal implant transmitter (VIT). VITs assist in the capture of fawns later during spring. The average doe was four years old, and the oldest was estimated to be at least nine years old. At three of the capture sites, staff routinely observed groups of over 10 deer, and over 30 deer on multiple occasions at another site.

Radio telemetry data have shown that eight of the collared does have traveled between three and 13 miles from where they were captured. This suggests they may have a larger home range than the deer previously collared in Sharon and Salisbury in 2012. The deer captured in 2012 stayed close to their capture sites throughout the year. Home range estimates for all captured deer will be calculated in the future so a more detailed analysis can be made.

Does captured in 2013 were monitored 24 hours a day from mid-May through late June. Sixteen fawns were captured from 10 of the does, along with three fawns that were captured opportunistically. Average birth rate was 1.6 fawns per doe. Four of does gave birth to single fawns, while six had twins. As of mid-July, six fawns were still alive, equating to a 32% survival rate.

Preliminary findings from fawns collared in 2013 indicate that eight percent died of natural causes, eight percent were illegally killed, 15% died of unknown causes, and 69% (9) died from predation.

Over the next two years, researchers will continue capture efforts in northwest Connecticut as additional years of data will provide better insight into fawn survival in that area of the state. Additionally, the Wildlife Division will be collecting incisor teeth from harvested deer to better evaluate the age structure of the deer population in the study area, and compare it to the deer population in northeastern Connecticut.

Deer Hunter Assistance Requested

DeerIncisors.psdThe Wildlife Division is collecting incisor teeth from harvested deer to better evaluate the age structure of the deer population in northwestern Connecticut (Deer Management Zone 1) and northeastern Connecticut (Deer Management Zone 5). Below is a list of towns from which we would like to obtain samples. Hunters interested in participating should remove the entire two front incisors from the lower jaw, clean them, and mail them in an envelope (include the sex of the deer, date, and town of kill) to CT DEEP Deer Program, 391 Route 32, North Franklin, CT 06254. Arrangements can also be made to have the teeth picked up directly.

If you are interested in assisting or have any questions, please contact or (860-642-7239)

Deer Management Zone 1 Towns

Canaan, Cornwall, Kent, Litchfield, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Warren

Deer Management Zone 5 Towns

Ashford, Brooklyn, Canterbury, Chaplin, Eastford, Hampton, Killingly, Plainfield, Pomfret, Putnam, Scotland, Sterling, Thompson, Windham, Woodstock.

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