An analysis of a recreational hunter's red deer tallies in the Tararua Ranges, North Island, New Zealand
- Department of Zoology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia 2006
- Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, College of Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North, New Zealand
- Institute of Natural Resources-Ecology, College of Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North, New Zealand
- Institute of Information Sciences and Technology, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North, New Zealand
We examined the jaw size, age and sex distribution of 324 red deer constituting a comprehensive record of all recreational hunting kills made by a single hunter of the Tararua ranges of North Island New Zealand over a period 20 years (1976-1996). The proportion of stags shot at times other than the rut (March—April) was not significantly different to that in a sample of deer obtained by commercial helicopter hunting and did not change significantly after the first three years of hunting regardless of any effect of helicopter hunting. Conversely, significantly greater numbers of males were shot during the months of the rut and this proportion increased significantly after the first three years of hunting presumably as a result of increased selectivity and or skill. The recreational hunter harvested significantly greater numbers of older animals than did helicopter hunters. The proportion of older animals shot during, and at times other than the rut, increased significantly after the first three years of hunting. Analysis of jaw length versus age showed a significant increase in the jaw size of age cohorts born after 1976 i. e. after an increase in culling effort and was indicative of a general decline in population density during the period of the study.