MSU asks hunters to pass up GPS-collared deer for the next two years in two Mississippi counties.
Some hunters in Mississippi are being asked to show restraint for 55 specific bucks as part of a hunting pressure study by Mississippi State University.
"What we want to tell the hunters in Madison and Yazoo counties is if they see a tagged or collared deer, don't shoot it," MSU wildlife and ecology and management professor Steve Demarais told The Clarion-Ledger. "In fact, don't shoot it for the next three years."
Specifically, MSU is hoping to collect data on the effects of hunting pressure on deer. "We want to tag and collar the animals this year and start the study next year," Demarais told the Clarion-Ledger. "What we need is evidence of what deer are doing in response to hunters and that's what we're trying to do with this project."
Any hunter who has hunted deer in a high-pressure area will probably tell you deer behavior does change during the hunting seasons. A similar study to MSU's was done at least once in Oklahoma over the course of their firearms season and showed deer movements changed.
While the deer didn't change the amount they moved each day, they did spend more time in areas that helped them remain hidden from hunters.
But MSU wants their study to be more in-depth than that. Their hope is to gather data on the effects of all hunting seasons on deer behavior over a two-year time period. The school is also collecting data on the times and places hunters are in the field via a mobile application to help clarify even more just what happens in the woods when the seasons begin.
"After the study, we'll have thousands of location estimates," Demarais told the Clarion-Ledger. "We'll know where the animals was over two complete hunting seasons. We'll also know where the hunters were spending their time and effort."
What do you think? Would you want a study like this to come to your area so you could better learn about hunting pressure effects on the herd? Would you pass up a buck wearing a GPS collar?