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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Summer Homes – Part 1
Posted: July 15, 2016

http://ecosystems.psu.edu/research/projects/deer/news/2016/summer-homes-2013-part-1-of-3

Gentlemen, Diefenbach just posted GPS locations of a PA Doe's home range that stretches 7 miles as the crow flies, between summer & winter range.

RSB must be doing summersaults.
Be carful though, it's only part 1 again.

Found it interesting that once again though, she does NOT confine herself to an evergreen valley/"wintering grounds".

Instead she is coursing from ridge to ridge thru clearcuts & shelterwood cuts, and avoiding areas identified by DCNR as "winter thermal cover" including the Thickhead Wild Area to the southwest.



DCNR Map:
http://maps.dcnr.pa.gov/bof/huntmap/index.html
 

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Amazing info. I know this area and I am surprised how far she has traveled. She has a cluster of locations on the Underwood trail then she traveled over the mountains and into the valley towards 322 that goes to State College. Just goes to show you how far they can go.
 

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Anyone who believes free ranging deer do not travel, regardless of the seasons is in denial. 7 miles, yup and I think that we are just beginning to understand the travel habits of white tails. The PGC buck dispersal study found a buck that was collared traveled 27 miles from his turf where he was collared. And as a side note, he swam 2 major rivers to get there. A doe inside 7 miles is not a stretch, and not uncommon.
 

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Travel and dispersal are two different things. However it seems that habitat has the same effect on both and it only makes sense. Waugh!
 

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The real funny thing is some people will buy in with both feet that deer would and could have "summer" homes but not have winter homes. Waugh!
 

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always said, deer do, what they do, when they want to do, simply because they can.

no rhyme or reason, its just what they feel like doing at any given time.
 

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bohunr said:
always said, deer do, what they do, when they want to do, simply because they can.

no rhyme or reason, its just what they feel like doing at any given time.
Winner... Yes they can and do....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
SRA-5C+ said:
The PGC buck dispersal study found a buck that was collared traveled 27 miles from his turf where he was collared. And as a side note, he swam 2 major rivers to get there. A doe inside 7 miles is not a stretch, and not uncommon.
Oh, but it IS uncommon for a PA doe's *ANNUAL* home range to span 7 miles. First time ever documented! Dispersal is something totally different.

What I find amusing is she lives most of the year down around 1,200 ft - raising fawns amoungst the farm fields. But then for winter she hikes uphill to 1,900 ft to over-winter on the mountaintop ridges deep in the forest.

People always tell me that deer do just the opposite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
dce said:
It's not uncommon for deer to move freely looking for food during a mild winter with little snow cover.
Mild w/little snow cover? The GPS locations are from the last two winters of 2013-14 & 2014-15. Back to back winters with above average snowfall.

 

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Every fall they have been migrating, sometimes over a hundred miles, to my freezer for the past 25 years...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Freytown said:
grundson, deer moving to a food source???? Up hill or down...does it really matter??
It does if you are promoting the idea that PA deer routinely drop off the ridges and down into their lowland "wintering grounds" when snow gets deep.

And it does if you insist deer will NOT benefit from increasing the annual tree harvest rate by creating additional seedling/sapling ALL OVER the mountains, and instead need yet more old growth forest.


Anyone who believes those things is proven wrong once again by the real GPS deer.
 

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grundsow said:
Freytown said:
grundson, deer moving to a food source???? Up hill or down...does it really matter??
It does if you are promoting the idea that PA deer routinely drop off the ridges and down into their lowland "wintering grounds" when snow gets deep.

And it does if you insist deer will NOT benefit from increasing the annual tree harvest rate by creating additional seedling/sapling ALL OVER the mountains, and instead need yet more old growth forest.


Anyone who believes those things is proven wrong once again by the real GPS deer.
That may be true in those areas of the state where they don’t get deep snow for extended periods of time. But, anyone from up in this lake effect snow region of the state who knows anything about deer and what they do during those winters with prolonged period of deep snow know better. We have been watching the deer move off the ridges and plateaus for all of our lives. No matter who fails to recognize it or understand it happens and it most certainly effects the value of the ridge top habitat verses the wintering grounds habitat. It also appears to adversely affect the fawn recruitment rates the year following those harsh winters.

Perhaps they should do a deer study in the snow belt areas of this Commonwealth and see just how harsh winters effect deer where we do have some REAL winters. Maybe they would at least learn some things about deer movement and habitat values they don’t seem to understand yet.

Dick Bodenhorn
 
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