Bloomington, IN, United States
Bloomington, IN, United States

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Johnson S.A.,53 E Miller Drive | Walker H.D.,53 E Miller Drive | Hudson C.M.,53 E Miller Drive
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2010

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) populations in the Midwestern United States experienced historic declines due to habitat loss and exploitation but have rebounded in recent decades. We investigated natal dispersal of juvenile bobcats from a population in south-central Indiana, USA, from 1999 to 2006. We radiocollared 16 juvenile bobcats (11 M, 5 F) and monitored them for 2371,014 days (x̄ 506). One female (20) and 11 males (100) dispersed from natal home ranges that averaged 14.6 km 2 in size. Most juveniles (70) initiated dispersal from mid-February through March, late in their first year. Only 5 bobcats (42) ultimately established a final home range 63 ± 35 km 2 in size 1392 km (x̄ 44) from their natal range 140 ± 45 days after initiating dispersal. Survival did not differ (P 0.93) between dispersing (S 0.73) and philopatric (S 0.75) individuals, although 4 bobcats (3 M, 1 F) were killed in collisions with vehicles. We found dispersal of bobcats in fragmented landscapes is prolonged and often unsuccessful; the ability of dispersers to locate suitable vacant habitat patches may be vital to the continued growth of bobcat populations recolonizing the agricultural Midwest. © The Wildlife Society.

Stewart C.M.,53 E Miller Drive
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2011

The Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife created urban deer zones in 1996 that liberalize opportunity and bag limits for Indiana (USA) hunters in areas experiencing increased conflict between humans and deer (Odocoileus virginianus); yet, no comprehensive survey of residents in these areas has been conducted to determine whether the regulations have been effective. A survey was distributed to randomly selected residents of Fort Wayne, Evansville, and Lafayette to determine their opinions on the local deer population, to assess their attitudes toward the present deer population levels, and to gather information on their preferences for deer management. Hunters residing in these areas were also surveyed. Over 87% of respondents indicated that the deer herd had either stayed the same or had grown since urban deer zones were established. Nearly 74% of respondents did not allow hunting on their property, despite it being the most acceptable form of management for white-tailed deer. There were noticeable differences in perceptions of the deer population and management techniques between hunters, former hunters, nonhunters who are prohunting, anti-hunters, and animal rights advocates. Additional opportunities (e.g., expanded crossbow use, expanded muzzleloader seasons) were supported by many, while nontraditional techniques (e.g., sharpshooting, trap-and-kill) were not supported. The lack of access to land by licensed hunters will continue to restrict opportunities for state management through traditional hunting and seasons. Nontraditional techniques may be needed in the future; however, substantial work must be done prior to implementation to increase public support for these approaches. © 2011 The Wildlife Society.

Stewart C.M.,53 E. Miller Drive | Veverka N.B.,53 E. Miller Drive
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2011

Sharpshooting is a proven management technique to lower white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) densities in areas where hunting is precluded. A donation program that allows for the consumptive use of these culled deer is often necessary to gain public approval for such a program. We culled 40 deer in Indiana using sharpshooting methods (head and neck shot placement) and radiographed the carcasses to determine if lead fragmentation spread throughout the skeletal muscle system. In 30 deer where shot placement was between the cranium and fourth cervical vertebrae, we observed no lead fragments in any thoracic or crural muscle tissue. Of 10 deer where shot placement was between the fifth and seventh cervical vertebrae, 8 deer experienced lead fragments in the extensor spinae muscle. Deer culled with highly frangible bullets via sharpshooting in the cranium or upper cervical spine have minimal risk of experiencing lead fragmentation in the thoracic or crural muscle systems. Deer shot in the lower neck may experience lead fragmentation in the anterior extensor spinae muscle, and up to 40 cm of that muscle should be removed before consumption. Copyright © 2011 The Wildlife Society.

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