Hill, J.A. 1995. Creation of a geographic void in a white-tailed deer population in northern New York: Implications for management. M.S. Thesis, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, 42 pp.

Abstract: This study tested the hypothesis that removal of a social group would create a geographic void in the population. A known social group of 10-15 deer was targeted for removal from Huntington Wildlife Forest (HWF) in northern New York. The home ranges of 9 neighboring deer, all females, were monitored by radio-telemetry to determine their response to the removal of the targeted group. The home ranges of all 14 target-group and all 9 neighboring deer were known for 1-3 years prior to the translocation of the target group. Creation of a geographic void of deer was assessed by monitoring population indices in the removal area, as well as monitoring movement behavior of neighboring deer. Visual observation data showed a drop in deer densities post-treatment (P = 0.045); track counts were not different between pre- and post-treatment in 1994 (P> 0.406). Removal of 14 targeted social-group deer created a void of approximately 1.21 km2. No neighboring deer moved its home range significantly closer to the void within the first 120 days post-removal. These preliminary finding support the hypothesis that the philopatric nature of female deer allows them to be managed at the level of a social group.