Deer Movement Research - the Moon, Weather, Wind, and “Lull”

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by November Sunrise, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. QDMAMAN

    QDMAMAN Premium Member

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    Frosted!
     
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  2. CDN1

    CDN1

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    What!! come on man, double it and add 30 ;):p
    Cheers
     
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  3. CHASINEYES

    CHASINEYES

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    Myself and two other guys used to do a fair amount of shining all hours of the night. At the time these sections were a nice mix of agriculture crops, including hayfields. On a typical night deer would be almost equally scattered around thw sections. I don't recall paying attention to temps, but one thing that really stood out was the effects of high wind. During high winds (typically W/NW) they were concentrated on the downwind side of woodlots or downwind side of steep hills standing or laying around feeding in hay. The more open wind beaten fields were mostly void.

    I can see where a person might believe high winds really got the deer moving if most of their experience came from hunting a farm with hayfield bordered by large windbreaks. They may be very disappointed taking that gained knowledge elsewhere.
     
  4. Dish7

    Dish7

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    Got a response today. This is a bit long. Sounds like everyone has had valid points.
    My question:
    Hello
    I read your QDMA article concerning radio collared deer and their relationship to habitat. Loved it, very interesting. It got me wondering about other rc studies. Maybe you could shed some light.
    I have seen several rc studies that indicate that various weather patterns have no influence on deer movement. My questions are: Is this an end all blanket statement? Weather is not a factor. Or are there other factors (possibly too many) to say for sure that a particular rc study is conclusive?

    Almost all hunters have their own beliefs about deer or particulary mature buck movements. Is it all just confirmation bias?

    My own observation, in my own little hunting bubble, is that low pressure, dead still days are very poor. I see it several times a season, year after year. Anecdotal? Confirmation bias?

    Again, very interesting stuff. Thanks for your time


    The answer:
    Thanks for your interest in the research. I’ve read several of the studies you might be referring to; part of the problem is that scientific research into animal movement is very nuanced and when we have to simplify for a general audience (in magazine publications, blogs, podcasts, ect), several of the details often get left out. One of the big considerations is what we mean by movement. Total linear movements and net displacement both measure movement but are very different concepts. Most of these studies find that total linear distance moved doesn’t change much with weather conditions, but net displacement does. Basically deer are up and moving around the same amount but not really going anywhere, and if you’re not set up right on top of them as a hunter, you’re not going to see them. Same goes for daylight/nighttime movement…if the study doesn’t differentiate between the two, the results might not match the peaks and valleys hunter’s see in movement during the daylight.


    As a hunter and a researcher, I tend to agree with you…saying weather conditions don’t impact movement behavior is too much of a blanket statement. They clearly do. It depends on how movement rates are measured.


    That being said, hunters tend to lean on confirmation bias a lot. We tend to hunt more often on days where the forecast looks like deer “should be on their feet”, and not so much when it is warm, windy, or rainy. Additionally, we get a very selective memory…we remember the days our hunches were right, and write off the days our hunches were wrong as a fluke. I know it’s something I’m guilty of.


    Jacob M. Haus, Ph.D.

    Certified Wildlife Biologist®

    Assistant Professor

    218L Sattgast Hall

    Department of Biology

    Bemidji State University
     
  5. mbrewer

    mbrewer

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    That was a very well written query to the author. Kudos to you for doing so.

    It pleases me greatly to see that you and Sniper are more birds of a feather than you are intellectual equivalents.
     
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  6. sniper

    sniper

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    Real Classy!

    #wouldntexpectanythingless


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  7. mbrewer

    mbrewer

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    Tilting at windmills describes you to a T, literally and figuratively. :banghead3

    #couldntexpectanythingless
     
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  8. sniper

    sniper

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    “Tilting at windmills”. Hang on let me grab my 12th edition Brewer conversion of the English language handbook so we can all figure this out. I’ll get back with you.


    Sent from my iPhone using Michigan Sportsman
     
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  9. Waif

    Waif

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    Sancho could help translate in a practical manner.
    But you'd have to listen to him...
    images.jpg
     
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  10. jiggin is livin

    jiggin is livin Premium Member

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    I can agree with the mindset that deer do what deer do, regardless of weather. Meaning they will lay, move and eat the same, roughly, day after day. We can all tell that by the studies and just pure logic.

    I can also agree with the points that they when, where and why could change greatly with regards to weather and even maybe moon phase. Those are points I haven't thought of previously.
     
  11. pgpn123

    pgpn123

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    You're at deer camp. You need to run to town for supplies and can't hunt the day you go. You can choose any one of the next 3 days. Temp is climbing and will be high 70's tomorrow, after that it cools to mid 40's by the 3rd day.

    Any preference of which day to go? Or don't think it matters?

    I think you COULD kill a deer any day, and I'd like to hunt them all. I'm not sure the odds are the same though.

    And take more supplies next time haha.
     
  12. pescadero

    pescadero Premium Member

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    Not closeness to the sun. Tilt toward or away from the sun.

    We are actually closer to the sun in winter, and further away during summer.
     
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  13. Waif

    Waif

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    Are we closer with our region tilting towards? Or away?

    I don't dress as if closer in winter.
     
  14. pescadero

    pescadero Premium Member

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    In northern hemisphere winter - the earth is closer to the sun, but the north is tilted away.
    In northern hemisphere summer - the earth is further from the sun, but the north is tilted toward.

    In southern hemisphere summer - the earth is closer to the sun, and the south tilted toward.
    In southern hemisphere winter - the earth is further from the sun, and the south tilted away.

    When we are tiled toward the sun, the southern hemisphere is tilted away (and vice versa). That is why the southern hemisphere has summer during our winter, and winter during our summer.
     
  15. Waif

    Waif

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    Alright wildman. Closeness is relative to distance.
    Get us close enough to the sun, and I'll argue heat increase will be noticed.
    Block us from the sun , and temps will drop. See year of 1816 summer for an example.

    Meanwhile we average warmer temps with longer daylight hours , and weeds go to seed when triggered by declining daylight hours.
    As deer are affected by photoperiod too.