Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Demarais, Steve

Committee Member

Strickland, Bronson K.

Committee Member

Willard, Scott W.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife and Fisheries


The reproductive timing and success of white-tailed deer are important to managers. I evaluated the reproductive variability of pen-raised deer and wild populations within Mississippi and investigated effects of age, body condition and moon phase on conception dates. I also examined the reproductive potential of doe fawns from 3 regions of Mississippi. Individual conception dates varied more than expected and were not related to moon phase. Age affected individual conception date, although the effect may have been confounded by estimated gestation length. Population level variation was less than reported and could not be explained by moon phase or late-winter body condition. One of 65 doe fawns bred. The critical mass for reproduction may be lower in Mississippi than previous reports for the northern U.S. Regional variation in fawn breeding based on yearling lactation rates warrants additional research.