The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) and the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences are currently conducting a telemetry project to determine the adult survival rates and movement patterns of white-tailed deer in Alabama. The project is designed to enhance the management of Alabama's white-tailed deer resources.
Locations include the Oakmulgee Wildlife Management Area (WMA); Barbour WMA; Pioneer Deer Management Cooperative, a collective of hunting clubs in Pickens County; and Rembert Hill Road, southwest of Linden, Ala., in Marengo County.
During the project, white-tailed deer of various ages will be captured by trained wildlife researchers using sedatives in each of the four locations and a radio collar will be placed around the neck of the deer. This collar will allow Auburn University researchers to gather movement and survival data. It is possible that the deer may not stay in the locations in which they are collared during hunting season.
Hunters are encouraged to avoid harvesting a collared deer during the 2013-14 hunting season. The sedatives used to capture the deer make consumption of the deer unsafe for a 45-day period. However, if harvested after the 45-day period the deer is safe to consume, but harvesting a collared deer is discouraged. Deer will be collared throughout the 2013-14 hunting season in each of the four locations.
"It is very important for us to retrieve each of the collars after a deer is shot or dies of natural causes," said Ray Metzler, WFF Wildlife Section Assistant Chief. "The data collected by the collar can help shape deer management decisions for future hunting seasons."
Hunters who accidentally harvest a collared deer during the upcoming gun season should contact the following:
Jeff Makemson at 205-371-6375 or Chris Cook at 205-339-5716
Barbour County WMA*
Adam Pritchett at 334-529-3222 or Bill Gray at 334-347-1298
Pioneer Cooperative and Rembert Hill Road
Chris Cook at 205-339-5716
*If the WMA check-in stations are closed, please place the collar and a note with your contact information inside the gate and WFF personnel will contact you with information regarding consumption of the collared deer.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama's natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.