Volume 44, Issue 6 (November 1999)

    Estimating Time of Death of Deer in Missouri; A Comparison of Three Indicators

    (Received 9 March 1998; accepted 8 March 1999)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    Estimation of time of death (TOD) of white-tailed deer is important to wildlife law enforcement officers. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a model for estimating TOD of white-tailed deer in Missouri. We compare the utility of carcass temperature, pupil diameter, and rigor mortis as TOD indicators. The effects of body size, ambient temperature, and various carcass handling methods on the estimate were also examined. Data were collected from 1484 deer during the 1995–96 and 1996–97 hunting seasons. Stepwise regression indicated that all three indicators were significant and that body size and ambient temperature could influence the model. Predictive equations were developed for various combinations of the indicators based on practicality and statistical probabilities. TOD was estimated for 28 animals where the exact TOD was known. There was no significant difference between the estimated and known TOD (p = 0.759) and the average of the absolute differences is 1 h and 28 min.


    Author Information:

    Hadley, BM
    Research specialist and Professor of Biology respectively, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO

    Beffa, DA
    Programs supervisor, Missouri Department of Conservation Protection Division, Jefferson City, MO

    Robbins, LW
    Research specialist and Professor of Biology respectively, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO


    Stock #: JFS14581J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS14581J

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    Author
    Title Estimating Time of Death of Deer in Missouri; A Comparison of Three Indicators
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30