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Understanding Deer Movements. Original Power Point Created by Andy Harrison. Modified by the GA Agriculture Education Curriculum Office July 2002. What Makes Deer Move?. Intrinsic Factors Things that happen inside the deer’s body Extrinsic Factors

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understanding deer movements

Understanding Deer Movements

Original Power Point Created by

Andy Harrison

Modified by the GA Agriculture Education Curriculum Office

July 2002

what makes deer move
What Makes Deer Move?
  • Intrinsic Factors
    • Things that happen inside the deer’s body
  • Extrinsic Factors
    • Things that happen outside the deer’s body
intrinsic factors
Intrinsic Factors
  • Light
    • Amount of daylight or lack of it each day
  • Circadian rhythms
    • Daily activity patterns
  • Whitetail are basically crepuscular, meaning they move in low light conditions
    • Eyes are well adapted to low light conditions
    • The back of the eye has a reflective membrane called a

tapetum lucidum

intrinsic factors1
Intrinsic Factors
  • Overall body condition
    • If in poor condition move any time of day & night
  • Rut – can cause any amount of movement of any distance and any time of day
extrinsic factors
Extrinsic Factors
  • Deer to deer interactions
  • Deer/Predator (hunter) interactions
  • Weather
  • Food
deer to deer interactions
Deer to Deer Interactions
  • Highly social
    • Travel in loose social groups
  • Structure within in the group is rigid
    • Alpha doe dominates with various levels of subordinates
  • Dominant bucks
    • Except as fawns or yearlings they seldom mix with doe groups
deer to deer interactions1
Deer to Deer Interactions
  • Social pressures on bucks often initiate movement
    • Yearling bucks look for new homes
    • Dominant bucks are displaced by fighting
      • At any sign of weakness, lesser bucks will attack
  • Rut and previous breeding experience
    • Pre-rut scouting trips are not uncommon for all ages of bucks
deer predator interactions
Deer/Predator Interactions
  • Deer have learned over time to avoid predators, including hunters
  • Can adjust normal movement habits to avoid predators
    • Sometimes they move in bright daylight
  • Deer generally do not travel in adverse weather unless they have good fat stores
  • Single most important factor is temperature
    • Shade
    • Overcast conditions
  • Adaptations of deer to climate
      • What is relative to the area
  • Wind impedes movement
    • Deer rely on senses
      • E.g. smell and hearing
    • Wind causes deer to modify movement patterns or limit activity to protected areas
  • Moon
    • Phase of the moon may have little or no effect
    • Deer normally feed by the light of the moon
what does all this mean
What Does All This Mean?
  • Best weapon man has is his mind
  • Three year old buck has learned many tricks and has become very woods wise
  • Deer are no match for human intellect when the knowledge is properly applied