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Spotlight and Daylight Cruise Survey of Deer: Collecting and Interpreting Data


Russell Stevens

By Russell Stevens
Strategic Consultation Manager and Wildlife and Range Consultant

Posted Jan. 1, 1999


Spotlight and daylight cruise surveys supplement good white-tailed deer population management, but their data are only estimates. Techniques are inexact; therefore, so are results. However, after several years, data from these surveys can produce valuable population-trend information that can help managers make decisions and reach goals. Making exact counts of wild populations is practically impossible, however, and although population data are very important, habitat management is very important too.


The author wishes to express his appreciation to Brady DeVille, Kent Shankles, and Frank Motal, who are largely responsible for collecting the data used in this report, and Mike Porter, who supervised all of the earlier (1987-92) white-tailed deer data collection on the Coffey Ranch. Thanks are also extended to Grant Huggins, John Winder, Mike Porter, and Cara Wallace for editorial comments and Ronnie Bloomfield for layout and design of this publication.


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