Movements and Activity Patterns of Female White-Tailed Deer During Rut

Ten female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were live-trapped, radio-tagged, released, and monitored for a 5-month period (Nov. 1975 - Mar. 1976) on the Fred T. Stimpson Wildlife Sanctuary in Clarke County Alabama. Study animals were monitored hourly during 74 individual diel periods before, during, and after the pealt of rut. Additional random daily monitoring (2512 locations) was also conducted. Minimum home ranges did not differ statistically among the pre-rut, rut, and post-rut study periods. Minimum total linear distance moved during diel periods, distance between extreme diellocations, minimum diel area covered, and minimum portion of home range utilized during diel periods were significantly (P < 0.(5) smaller during rut. Diel activity was significantly higher (P < 0.01) during rut than during pre-rut or post-rut. The general pattern of movement changed from relatively long linear movements during pre-rut and postrut to repeated crisscrossing movements of shorter magnitude within restricted areas during the rut. The increased activity and decreased movement during the rut appeared to be associated with breeding.

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