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Antler Characteristics in a Colonizing Elk Population

Scott M. McCorquodale, Lester E. Eberhardt and Glen A. Sargeant
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 53, No. 3 (Jul., 1989), pp. 618-621
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3809185
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3809185
Page Count: 4
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Antler Characteristics in a Colonizing Elk Population
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Abstract

We evaluated age-specific antler characteristics for a colonizing elk (Cervus elaphus) population occupying the shrub-steppe of Washington during 1982-88 (10-16 yr post-colonization). Antler growth patterns indicated rapid growth relative to other elk populations, particularly in younger age classes. Twelve of 26 antlers (46.1%) from 2-year-old males had 5 points and 11 (42.3%) had 6 points. Age-specific antler weights and length parameters were above average relative to other populations and increased through the oldest age class studied (9 yr). Rapid and substantial antler growth in this population corresponded with high reproductive and survival rates and rapid numerical growth of the herd.

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