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Whitetail Deer Habitat Managing habitat for the benefit of deer.

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Old 01-25-2011, 04:24 PM
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Question How far will a deer travel?

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In your experiences, how far will a deer travel from bed to food in one day? I'm talking about an average doe group, not rutted up bucks in November. Where I hunt, most of the deer only have to move about 200 - 300 yards to their final destination for the evening.

I ask because when setting up big open farm properties for deer hunting, I'm unsure as to what a fair limit would be for daily travel. 300, 600, 1000 yards? Anybody have any philosophies?
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by DXT Deer Slayer View Post
In your experiences, how far will a deer travel from bed to food in one day? I'm talking about an average doe group, not rutted up bucks in November. Where I hunt, most of the deer only have to move about 200 - 300 yards to their final destination for the evening.

I ask because when setting up big open farm properties for deer hunting, I'm unsure as to what a fair limit would be for daily travel. 300, 600, 1000 yards? Anybody have any philosophies?
A long way in some areas. You could shine a field at 10 pm see a buck and then possibly see him again a mile away at 1 am in another field.
Deer don't just limit themselves to just one food source.
A deer doesn't usually travel a strait line either. So going from location to location could actually take them through more travel time/distance than if they walked strait from point A to point B.
I read some where for a deer to go a mile is equivilant to your or I getting off the couch and walking to the kitchen.
Alot will depend on what the prefered food sources are at that time of year. An example I have seen is in my area the deer would hit the beans on my place and then slowly feed their way to a section of woods and swamp to hit a corn field a mile or more away only to circle back through the same woods and swamp (on a different path than the journey to) back to their beds. They may even go other places through out the night.

Basically for hunting reasons your best approach if you are going to set up on a food source is get within range of where they enter before dark. If that is not an option you will have to ambush them on their trail to the food source. IMO I wouldn't focus on the food source but on the trail leading between bedding and food. I try to get as close to the bedding as I can without causing any disturbance or tipping them off to my location for the present and future hunts. I also take into consideration of what my target animal is and the timing of the year as to how close or far to be from the bedding.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:43 PM
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If not bothered 20-100yds.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:55 PM
jafurnier jafurnier is offline
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Default A mile...no problem

I am 100% positive deer will move a mile and not bat an eye. This is just for food too and not rut. I watch them in farm country do it all the time. I have seen them over and over walk through a field...1/2 mile...in a face paced walked...night after night.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:20 PM
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I have 3 main doe beddings (groups) on my property. All three groups have 2 plots each, all 3 doe groups bed within 50 yds of their food. They feed in the plots until dark then travel 1/2 mile or more to oaks and ag fields.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:56 PM
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I have 3 main doe beddings (groups) on my property. All three groups have 2 plots each, all 3 doe groups bed within 50 yds of their food. They feed in the plots until dark then travel 1/2 mile or more to oaks and ag fields.
that is the goal.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:05 PM
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that is the goal.
The only problem I have is that all the bucks in the area seem to tear up all my trees on the edges of my plots (trees everywhere) and rip up the ground under low hanging branches. stupid deer
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:11 PM
fairfax1 fairfax1 is offline
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I'll bet there are fistfull of studies on deer travel. I'd guarantee it.

It's a common and predictable question and one that University Wildlife departments can address with their graduate students. There's gotta be a huge secret file cabinet in state wildlife agencies and in universities with just such studies.

Who here wants an opportunity-assignment to dig 'em up on the web?
........................................

But, if we just resort to anecdotal stories...... well, I got one.

This happened to an acquaintance. He and his family relayed the story and showed me the arrow. It was a much discussed story locally.

A young buck (1.5 y/o) was hit when it was almost directly below the archer's treestand; with the arrow going straight down through the top of his back and deep into his body.

It was not a fatal hit.

Hardly.

The animal was killed while rutting after a doe about two weeks later by a shotgunner in the first days of Michigan's firearm season.

4 miles away.

The arrow was recovered from the deer and returned to the bowhunter.

Honestinjun.
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:35 AM
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LOL..what was that....In my experience it depends on a million things so there is no "one size fits all" answer...depends on how thick the cover, deer density, options as far as food sources, most of all pressure on the food sources..most of my does don't travel very far at all from bed to feed, some ranging from 50 yards if its a mature oak stand with a with a winding food plot and another situation where it would be a 20 acre AG field they might travel 300 to 500 yards to finally reach the destination..if your trying to figure out how far in you could penetrate I would try to make your own bedding areas, in my situation it allows me to pinpoint where they will be in most cases..
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What was that?? It was a question. That's why there was a little question mark symbol next to the post. Perhaps I should have been more clear. I wasn't asking for an answer of 573.4 yards, I was looking for some feedback from guys who manage the habitat on their land. Thanks to those who gave some valuable input.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:37 AM
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I wasn't referring to the original question rocky...
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ratchet.

Last edited by qdmaer; 01-26-2011 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:49 AM
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Lots of variables. Quality of habitat beyond your borders, disturbances from natural predators and human land use. I'm of the opinion that deer have beds, not a bed. Anytime a specific piece of property gets habitually used by any animal it becomes easier to detect that use by other animals. A deer using a single bed or food source is a deer that is more vulnerable to prey than a deer that circulates around a number of security and food sources. Also, deer trend with the season. The deer I see now are easily moving around 4 - 8 properties in a 24 hour period during this time of year. Less travel when there are more food sources available.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DXT Deer Slayer View Post
What was that?? It was a question. That's why there was a little question mark symbol next to the post. Perhaps I should have been more clear. I wasn't asking for an answer of 573.4 yards, I was looking for some feedback from guys who manage the habitat on their land. Thanks to those who gave some valuable input.
He might of been referring to my post. Maybe I will slow it down for him next time.
Just ignore him.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:10 AM
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SW Michigan research:

http://www.fw.msu.edu/~pusater3/deer...i%20Thesis.pdf

SC Michigan research:

http://www.fw.msu.edu/~pusater3/deer/

http://www.fw.msu.edu/~pusater3/deer...tion_final.pdf
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:25 AM
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This is more in reference to travel in general, rather than travel to a specific food source.

An outfitter friend in Saskatchewan killed a buck 21 miles from where they had summer pictures of it.

It was a 238" NT, so they knew it was the same buck.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:29 AM
fairfax1 fairfax1 is offline
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See November Sunrise's post above.

There's the bingo!

NS, you're an ace and should get paid for your stuff here.
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