U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Document Type


Date of this Version

January 2004


The deleterious effects of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on forest regeneration are well documented in many forested systems, but potential solutions to these problems on remote landholdings are limited in number and scope. Localized management proposes that a persistent area (<2 km2) of low density can be created by removing all individuals within matriarchal social groups of white-tailed deer. Our objective was to assess the feasibility of using localized management as a tool within forest regeneration areas. We present a comparison of seasonal home-range and core-area size and site fidelity of 148 radiomonitored female white-tailed deer in a forested landscape of the central Appalachians of West Virginia. We also characterized seasonal movements and dispersal. Adult female winter home-range size exceeded those of summer and autumn. Female deer displayed high fidelity, with home-range and core-area overlap being less in autumn than in summer or winter. Dispersal occurred in 1 of 28 (3.6%) female fawns and no deer >1 year old dispersed. Female white-tailed deer on our study site meet the a priori assumptions of localized management. We assert that experimental manipulations based on localized management concepts are prudent.