Telemetric Study Of Deer Movement-Ecology In The Southeast

Twenty-eight deer were instrumented with radio transmitters in four Florida and Alabama habitats. Telemetric contact varied from a few hours to more than four months. Minimum home ranges of seven of these deer in their natural habitats ranged from 147 to 243 acres. This relative uniformity occurred despite considerable variation in habitat characteristics. Similarities among the habitats that might account for this uniformity were noted. Minimum home range major axes ranged from 0.76 to 2.23 miles in length with most being just less than one mile. Two semi-wild deer, when released in strange habitats, wandered over much larger areas (up to 10 times greater), but eventually established relatively small home ranges. Although major shifts in home range were not known to occur, in some instances the center of activity or "core area" changed in relation to seasonal food supply. Diel movement patterns often involved feeding out into open range or near food plots at night and returning to the wooded areas during the day. Distances between extreme diel locations averaged 0.71 miles. Minimum total distances moved during diel periods averaged 1.55 miles. Some examples of variation in the movement patterns could be related to the sexual cycle in both male and female. Data on the home range and movements of adult bucks (more than two years old) were inconclusive.

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