A Telemetric Study Of Deer Home Ranges And Behavior Of Deer During Managed Huntsl

The home ranges of five white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were determined on the Clark Hill Wildlife Management Area using telemetric equipment. The population density of deer on the 800 acres study area was estimated to be 50-55 deer per square mile (1 deer/12 acres) prior to the managed hunts in 1967. A six year old doe, radio-tracked from April 4, to May 9, 1967, had a home range of 121 acres. The same animal was tracked from October 12, to October 25, 1967, and had a home range area of 87 acres. A three year old doe with a fawn was radio-located from May 18, to July 8, 1967, and ranged on a 40 acre area during this period. The doe and fawn were instrumented from November 16, to December 31, 1967, and had a home range of 78 acres. These animals were never separated while both were instrumented. A 1Y:. year old buck was radio-instrumented from October 12, to November 1, 1967, and from November 13, to November 18, 1967. During this period, the animal had a home range of about 360 acres. A 1 1/2 year old doe was radio-tracked from December 27, 1967, to January 1, 1968. The deer was trapped two times prior to being radio-instrumented in April, 1967, and tagged with a yellow collar. The home range of this deer, based on three trapping locations, one hunter observation, and six days of radio-tracking, was about 92 acres. These home range data provide further evidence of a possible inverse relationship between population density and home range size of deer. The home ranges of all deer studied exhibited considerable overlapping. No seasonal shift in home range location was noted. Radio-tagged deer remained within their telemetrically determined home range when subjected to heavy hunting pressure. Movement data obtained on radio-tagged deer during managed hunts revealed that the daytime movement patterns were different from daytime movements prior to and following the hunts. Generally, deer movement increased as hunting pressure increased. An absence of understory vegetation on the study area was believed to be a contributing factor in forcing deer to "move" as hunting pressure increased. These data indicate that a hunter density of five hunters per 100 acres is sufficient to "move" deer on areas containing sparce understory. A hunter density of 10 hunters per 100 acres should produce a "heavy kill".

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