Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
Previous research documented that white-tailed deer body mass and antler size varied across physiographic regions of Mississippi. Deer from regions with greater soil fertility had greater body mass and antler size; however, this information is known only for individuals 6 months of age and older. I monitored birth mass and skeletal size of fawns produced by bred, adult, female white-tailed deer transplanted from the Delta, Thin Loess (Loess), and Lower Coastal Plain (LCP) soil regions to fawn in the Mississippi State University Rusty Dawkins Memorial Deer Unit. I evaluated the effect of soil region of origin, litter size, and fawn gender on mass and size of fawns at birth. Birth mass was not as variable as mass of older animals, but LCP fawns were lighter and shorter than loess and/or delta fawns. Twins were lighter and shorter than singletons. Males were heavier than females. Differences between regional birth dates within the pens and estimated regional birth dates based on a fetal growth curve raises questions about the wide-spread application of this method of estimating deer breeding and fawning dates.
Blaylock, Amy Castle, "Effects Of Soil Region, Litter Size, And Gender On Morphometrics Of White-Tailed Deer Fawns" (2007). Theses and Dissertations MSU. 1796.