Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Georgia
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Georgia Project

Incorporating Structured Decision Making and Alternative Sources of Data into Management of White-tailed Deer in Georgia

July 2019 - June 2022


Participating Agencies

  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources

In Georgia, the management of deer populations across the state is challenging because of regional variation in landscapes, deer population status, property ownerships, and other factors. Sources of harvest data available to the state of Georgia primarily through self-reporting mechanisms are potentially usable for providing harvest management decision support, but these data sources have unknown biases. We will investigate the utility of these data sources under a structured decision making framework, which establishes the context for the types of data needed to support harvest decision making and their required degree of quality. This approach will help to identify analytical processes or ancillary data sources that protect the quality of decisions from influence of sampling and self-reporting biases. This work is being performed in a collaboration between the University of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The research will result in recommendation of one or more candidate harvest decision support frameworks that address the goals of stakeholders and that identify priorities for the collection of data most useful for guiding management.

Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Van Buskirk, A. 2024. Integrating social and biological science into the management of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). PhD Dissertation, University of Georgia, Athens. May 2024