In 2003, a cadre of researchers set out to determine what combination of supplemental or natural nutrition and white-tailed deer population density would produce the largest antlers on bucks without harming vegetation. They would come to call this combination "the sweet spot". Over the course of their 15-year experiment, conducted through the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University–Kingsville, Timothy E. Fulbright, Charles A. DeYoung, David G. Hewitt, Don A. Draeger, and 25 graduate students tracked the effects of deer density and enhanced versus natural nutrition on vegetation conditions. Through wet years and dry, in a semiarid environment with frequent droughts, they observed deer nutrition and food habits and analyzed population dynamics. Containing the results of this landmark, longitudinal study, in keeping with the Kleberg Institute's mission, this volume provides science-based information for enhancing the conservation and management of Texas wildlife.
Advanced White-Tailed Deer Management: The Nutrition–Population Density Sweet Spot presents this critical research for the first time as a reference for hunters, landowners, wildlife managers, and all those who work closely with white-tailed deer populations. It explains the findings of the Comanche-Faith Project and the implications of these findings for white-tailed deer ecology and management throughout the range of the species with the goal of improving management.
Timothy E. Fulbright is a research scientist emeritus at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute (CKWRI) at Texas A&M University–Kingsville and Regents Professor in the Texas A&M University System. He is the co-author of Ecología y Manejo de Venado Cola Blanca and White-Tailed Deer Habitat: Ecology and Management in Rangelands.
Charles A. DeYoung is professor emeritus and research scientist at CKWRI and senior author of Linking White-Tailed Deer Density, Nutrition, and Vegetation in a Stochastic Environment.
David G. Hewitt is a professor and Leroy G. Denman Jr. Endowed Executive Director of Wildlife Research at CKWRI and editor of Biology and Management of White-Tailed Deer.
Don A. Draeger is a manager of several large family ranches in Texas.
"Many years and countless hours of well-planned and accomplished research have been compiled in this publication. For anyone who is interested in deer and habitat management in the semiarid area of South Texas, this publication should be in their library both as a guide and reference for present and future management decisions. In particular, anyone who is presently supplementing deer nutritionally or contemplating so in the future, it contains the best up-to-date information available. Also, hunters can gain insight into areas that can enhance their hunting skills and practices."
– Al Brothers, co-author of Producing Quality White-Tails
"In Advanced White-Tail Management, skilled biologists share the results of 15 years of research that was designed to find the sweet spot between a deer herd's density and the amount of nutritional resources available. The results and discussion shared in Advanced White-Tail Management is a great resource for south Texas deer managers and will benefit folks like me that manage and hunt deer in different geographical areas."
– Grant Woods, wildlife biologist and host of GrowingDeer