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A herd of 300 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on Griffith Island in Georgian Bay, Ontario, was reduced to 100 deer in a controlled hunt during the winter of 1967-68. Initially, when the density was about 100 deer per square mile, 0.65 deer were shot per hour; at the end of the hunt 0.16 deer were shot per hour. The number of deer killed per hour was equal to the number of deer per square mile times 0.006, the index of hunting efficiency. When hunter effort is measured to the nearest hour, the kill per unit effort can give a reliable index of population density for small areas. Most deer were shot with one shot and were within 100 m of the hunter. Hunters used 1.65 shots per deer killed, and hit each deer 1.3 times. All calibers of rifles used performed equally well. Low hunting efficiency would preclude the commercial harvesting in northern white-tailed deer ranges except in areas with accessible populations exceeding 10-25 deer per square mile.
The Journal of Wildlife Management © 1973 Wiley