Deer Movements in Relation to Food Supplies in the Southern Appalachians

We studied seasonal movements of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in northeast Georgia in relation to agricultural food plots during years of varying oak (Quercus spp.) mast production. In total, 2,381 radio telemetry locations were collected from 12 does from 1987 through 1989. Fall and winter home ranges were larger (P < 0.1) during a high oak mast productivity year compared to a low productivity year. There were no differences (P > 0.1) in spring home range sizes under 3 different oak mast conditions. All radio-collared does had ranges which included 1 or more food plots. Most deer were located within 800 m of a food plot during all years and all seasons. Distances does were located from food plots were not different (P > 0.1) during fall and spring regardless of mast conditions; however, during the winter of low mast productivity deer were located closer, 177.5 m vs 289.9 m, to food plots than they were during the winter of high mast productivity (P < 0.1)

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