For the second year in a row, MHS Field Biology students from Dan Drangstveit and Jeff Erickson's classes took part in collecting field data as part of a five-year Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources buck mortality study.
In 2006, a panel of experts in big-game population modeling recommended that the DNR document buck recovery rate through a long-term mark-recapture study, thus making this study a top priority. As the name suggests, this means capturing and tagging bucks, monitoring their activity, and determining the causes of buck mortality, or death.
Two study areas have been established; one primarily forested area in northwest Wisconsin, and one farmland area in east-central Wisconsin. The different study sites were chosen to monitor differences in buck mortality and harvest rates across areas with different habitat types, hunting pressure, types and relative densities of predators, and vehicle traffic.