A study was recently conducted by Quality Deer Management Association in Garrett County to estimate the number of fawns being recruited into the deer herd. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources released information in January that fawn recruitment had dropped significantly there from 0.8 fawns per doe in the early 2000s to 0.3 fawns per doe by 2010.
“A national survey of state wildlife agencies in 2011 showed Maryland’s estimated fawn recruitment rate declined from 0.74 fawns per doe in 2000 to 0.60 fawns per doe in 2010,” said Kip Adams, director of education and outreach for QDMA. Thus, the DNR estimated that Garrett County’s fawn recruitment rate was only half of Maryland’s statewide average.
Thirty-three trail cameras were used in the survey with sites ranging from Grantsville to Kitzmiller. Trail camera surveys are a great technique for estimating deer density, age structure, sex ratio and fawn recruitment in deer populations, and this survey produced an estimated recruitment rate for Garrett County of 0.76 fawns per doe. This rate is 2.5 times the rate announced last January by the Maryland DNR.
“It really didn’t surprise me given Garrett County’s agriculture and solid habitat as I reviewed data with this project,” Sam Leatherman said. Leatherman used to reside in Garrett County and now is a wildlife manager in Texas at the Becerra Ranch.
For additional information on fawn recruitment topics visit the QDMA website @ www.qdma.com.