- Erickson, Brian S.
The Graduate School, University of Maine
Deer wintering areas (DWA’s) in Northern Maine play an integral role in the survival of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) as survival is directly related to the occupation of the microclimates within these areas during the harsh winter months (Pekins & Tarr, 2009). DWA management is typically focused on habitat protection. However, in instances where DWA’s are commercially owned and operated they must be constantly managed for wood production as well as longevity as a DWA. There have been very few studies that actually compare different management regimes/options for commercial DWA’s. This study will include a forest inventory assessment for a commercially owned deer wintering area in the Moosehead Lake region; coupled with a harvest prescription, wildlife suitability, productivity analysis, cost assessment, & potential economic return for 3 management scenarios. All samples were collected in the summer of 2014, from June to July. It was found that all three scenarios were suitable for deer habitation throughout the 90 year growth simulation. However, the cost/benefit analysis varied between scenarios with higher and quicker returns for some rather than others.