Punching Holes in
Predation Theory
Findings in an Arizona study so far indicate that predators may have a more significant impact on deer populations than biologists previously thought.

The prevailing biological belief is that habitat conditions are the primary controlling factor for deer populations, not predation. This long-term deer study in the 3-Bar area is punching holes in parts of that biological theory and others.

Research Chief Jim deVos says the findings have many biologists scratching their heads. “Despite a prolonged drought, we are seeing deer densities within our predator-proof enclosure rivaling those in places like the prime whitetail country of the southeastern United States. Yet deer densities outside the 3-Bar enclosure are plummeting,” according to deVos.

Professor Warren Ballard with Texas Tech, one of the principal researchers on the department’s deer study, says, “Deer numbers inside the enclosure are around 10-times higher than the surrounding country. One of our challenges is determining all the factors of why that is so.”
| WH Home | Contact Western Hunter.com | WH Archive |

Copyright © 2004 J & D Outdoor Communications. All rights reserved.