Why do deer move?

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PredatorTC
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Why do deer move?

Unread postby PredatorTC » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:53 pm

I was scouting a buck today that lived in a fence line with a crick running through it. There was a big oak with acorns that i could tell that he had eaten.... There was corn on both sides of him. I know this deer pretty well and know a lot about his night routine and travel. Like most bucks, he travels far in a night.

This is kinda a crazy question, but what makes a deer move around at night when he does not have too. He has everything right there. Are bucks like snipers and they know that they have to keep moving or a predator will find them? Are they like humans and cant just sit still because they have to much energy?

Its a weird question but i wanna see if we can come up with some new ideas


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Re: Why do deer move?

Unread postby Zap » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:02 pm

One thing to think about is:

Deer have eyes to see in the dark, they are safer in the open at night.
Safer in cover in the light when they cannot see as well.

This is my opinion as a novice hunter. :)

marty
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Re: Why do deer move?

Unread postby magicman54494 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:21 pm

Great question! I'll guess. Deer are social so I will assume they check out their neighbors. Bucks probably travel to keep an inventory of potential girlfriends. I'm sure they also keep an eye on the other bucks in their area. I'm sure they are keeping an eye open for changing food sources. You mentioned that the buck had "everything" he needed right there. How can you be sure he has everything? Maybe there was a food source that was in season a 1/4 mile away. They eat many different things and all those things arent right there. Deer are browsers. I'm sure it's genetic to wander a bit so one small area doesn't get browsed off. They may bed in different areas because of weather changes and I wonder (as you mentioned) if they don't rotate beds in an attempt to throw off preditors.
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Re: Why do deer move?

Unread postby PredatorTC » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:23 pm

i guess i kinda mean why do they move at all, not why they move at night. But your point is also interesting

Why don't they just live in a little 100 yard square if they have all the necessities to live. How come they go so far at night when they have all the crops they could ever need, right by there bed
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Re: Why do deer move?

Unread postby PredatorTC » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:24 pm

Very good thoughts magic!!! This is all stuff i did not think about. Like the deer being social. Makes sense. Thanks!
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Re: Why do deer move?

Unread postby dan » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:16 am

If you worked across the street from your house, and next to the place you worked was a super market, a taco bell, and a McDonalds, why would you ever leave that little area???
I have noticed that some people when they get older start staying in a tiny little area and hardly ever move... I have seen old bucks do the same.
But young deer, like young men, need to wander.
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Re: Why do deer move?

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:23 am

Good stuff, guys... I also believe there are many reasons for their movement. Hormones, weather, genetic traits and instincts, and many other factors impact how much a deer will move. To break down just one of these factors, take a look at hormonal influence. Testosterone levels in whitetail bucks typically rise and fall based on age, health and seasonal timing and influence (again, there are many more factors). A randy young 2 year old buck with soaring testosterone levels is going to cover some serious ground and leave a lot of sign.
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Re: Why do deer move?

Unread postby PredatorTC » Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:31 am

Very good points guys!

Like Dan said the older they get, the tighter they stick to there core area. Makes sense!! Now i have to ponder upon some ways to use this to my advantage. Because with them sticking tighter in one area, i would bet there are overlooked ideas. Are there ways that they become more vulnerable by doing this?
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Re: Why do deer move?

Unread postby jigglestick » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:59 am

I believe there are several reasons, but lets not forget, anything made of blood and bone needs to move to keep in good health, with the exception of me that is :D
blood circulation through muscle and joints is essential, as is building muscle tone for those times when someone thinks they're bigger than you and you just need to point out the the holes in their logic.
also when the big bad wolf comes sniffin around, to know you have been practicing laps around the block, means you are in shape, ...and know all the cool places to excape to 8-)

different creatures, but I was working near a waterfowl resting place one fall. the bluebills were gearing up for serious migration, but the weather and food source was plentiful, so instead of leaving, each morning and evening, they would take flight and do laps for about twenty minutes straight.
the only reason I noticed this behavior was that I was positioned running the machine that I could see them every day all day long, five days a week.
the only reason I could figure, was that they needed to stay in shape for their fall flight.

ever seen a deer run across a field for no apparent reason, only to run back moments later?

just another point of view.
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Re: Why do deer move?

Unread postby Spysar » Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:24 pm

I'd say for cover, food and sex. That order will change according to the time of year. Also it's just in their nature to wander.
A buck will see you three times, and hear you twice, but he's only gonna smell you once.
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Re: Why do deer move?

Unread postby huntinnurse » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:34 pm

TC, dude............You come up with some excellent questions!!!!!
Great thoughts and answers guys. I agree with all the answers, and I do think the eyesight is a huge factor in why alot of the moving and behavior occurs at night. Tehy do not have any protection from UV rays from the sun to their eyes like we and other daytime animals do. If they did, I think we would see more of this movement and activity during the day. And as a result, a heck of alot more deer/car collisions.
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Re: Why do deer move?

Unread postby PredatorTC » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:49 pm

Zap wrote:One thing to think about is:

Deer have eyes to see in the dark, they are safer in the open at night.
Safer in cover in the light when they cannot see as well.

This is my opinion as a novice hunter. :)

marty


huntinnurse wrote: I do think the eyesight is a huge factor in why alot of the moving and behavior occurs at night. Tehy do not have any protection from UV rays from the sun to their eyes like we and other daytime animals do. If they did, I think we would see more of this movement and activity during the day. And as a result, a heck of alot more deer/car collisions.


Sorry bout that zap! Guess i misunderstood you :oops:
But thats very true. Guess i did not know that or think of that. Wow!!!! Loving the new ideas!!!
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Re: Why do deer move?

Unread postby dan » Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:48 am

Are there ways that they become more vulnerable by doing this?

There are always ways to use an animals behaviors to his disadvantage.
The hard part about a buck that holds up in a small area is that he is tough to find. But find him, and you have a huge advantage of a small area that he spends over 90% of his daylight hours within. I suspect you hunt during the day, so obviously hunting them where they are during the daytime is a huge advantage towards killing them in daylight. ;)

Even a "homebody" buck will have back up bedding areas, probably even a couple primary bedding areas. So the key is still precision hunts at just the right time, with just the right wind so you get the job done before you kick him to a bedding area you don't know about, or where you cant hunt.
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Re: Why do deer move?

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:14 am

Did you ever get a pattern on this deer PTC?

Do you guys think all deer wander like this until they get old and their core area shrinks or does it vary based on pressure and location? I know in areas where the deer have less food, unlike this scenario, they have to move more just to feed. Its interesting to hear all the insight on why these deer move like they do. Great thred predator!
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Re: Why do deer move?

Unread postby headgear » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:27 am

Cool thread, I have never read this one before, thanks for bumping this Backwoods. One other reason I think the deer might move is to just keep tabs on their home range for security reasons. I know if I had a bunch of Yotes, Dogs, Wolves, and Beast Members stalking me year round I would sure want to do a little recon to sniff out their movements and learn where I can travel safely to avoid teeth and broadheads. Not that deer necessarily think that way but just like we read the paper, watch the news/weather they want to know what is going on.


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