McNulty, Stacy A. 1997. Cover type, logging disturbance and recruitment of white-tailed deer in the Adirondacks. M.S. Thesis, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, 106 pp.
Abstract: I investigated differences in the success of social groups of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the central Adirondacks during 1972-76 and 1990-94. I measured the relationship of recruitment to cover type and logging disturbance. Recruitment was higher in social groups with a higher proportion of hardwood and mixed hardwood-conifer stands and lower in groups with a lower proportion of softwood stands within their social-group range. Lighter and less-recent logging disturbances were correlated with lower group success in the 1970's, but disturbance was not clearly related to group success during the 1990's. Social-group success was more strongly related to cover type, which persists over several decades, than disturbance, which affects forage for a few years. Coincidence of quality summer habitat with favorable winter weather may result in a window of opportunity when recruitment is more likely. the home-range size of an individual deer was correlated with disturbance, but not cover type. Home-range size did not differ between social groups within the 1970s or 1990s, but home ranges were almost 4 times smaller in the 1990s than the 1970s. This was probably an artifact of differences in sampling between 5-year periods, rather than differences in deer movements.