How far do deer travel up north during gun season?

12/4/14 @ 7:47 AM
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B Fish
B Fish
USER since 6/26/10
I am convinced one of the biggest reason people are not seeing deer on opening weekend is the massive amount of human activity in the woods on Thursday and Friday from people (checking stands, looking for a spot, or simply walking/driving around). A large group of hunters could not make a better drive. We bow hunt the same basic area as we gun hunt and we see a nice amount of deer, even the weekend before gun hunting. Then the gun season rolls around and it is literally dead, no shots, no fresh track, no beds, but lots of people who tell you about how many they saw on Thursday or Friday. So I am convinced the deer have been alerted and have moved. I hunt the entire season and they don't appear to come back and I can't find where they go? We hunt the National Forest so they are not going into private land nearby. Each day we walk further out (.5,1,2,3+ miles) and even with the snow we can't find tracks. A person would almost say there are no deer but the week before (particularly this year with snow) we saw a very nice amount of sign. So the big question is how far are these deer going? Obviously much further than what I thought. Many of us know the smartest deer in the woods is a mature doe with fawns, so if she lives through a few gun seasons she knows what to do and where to go. Bow hunting has also thought me be good to the does,hunt where they are and the bucks will follow. But I think some of those does are much smarter than we give them credit. So the question again is how far do they go? Does anybody have any experience with this? Thanks and have a good day.
Edited on 12/4/14 8:07 AM
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12/8/14 @ 5:10 AM
Brother of the brush
Brother of the brush
USER since 1/22/12
Just remember, tracks in the snow don't lie. With that said, 3 deer can make a lot of tracks in 3 or 4 day old snow. I've been making drives for nearly 40 years and some deer have always held tight (letting you walk by them) but years past there were so many more deer that many didn't hold tight and they were seen.

Ihookem, with all the downgrading baiters like me, how is it right to have a bait by your cabin?

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12/8/14 @ 2:07 AM
pike eyes
pike eyes
USER since 12/28/10
Ok math wasn't exactly right Lol but I think my point is correct. When you see deer yarded in later winter a lot of them deer came from more then 2 miles. They will go a long way for food, and during a quick run from danger a mile isn't out of the question.

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12/6/14 @ 8:21 AM
rikj
rikj
USER since 7/29/01
pike eyes, I did a little math for you. You wrote A man can run a mile in 5 minutes and a deer can run 8-10 times faster than a man

FYI A 5 minute mile is 12 MPH.

8-10 times that is 96-120 MPH for a deer WOW, If your shooting at a running deer you better lead them by about 30 feet Big Smile

Seriously, deer can cover a lot of ground in a hurry even at that fast kind of shuffling walk they do. A mile or two is nothing for a deer to travel to feed. Some of the deer "Experts" claim deer (especially does/fawns) have a much smaller core area, I disagree.

Edited on 12/6/14 8:24 AM
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12/6/14 @ 8:18 AM
qdmaguy
qdmaguy
USER since 6/14/10
B Fish...how long could a deer stay in one small area? A longggg time if there's food and water in close proximity.

The western edge of my property is comprised of an environmental lake which is surrounded by cattails, tag alders, tamaracks, sedges, etc. How long do you think a deer could stay hunkered down in that stuff if its life depended on it? Wink

Edited on 12/6/14 8:20 AM
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12/6/14 @ 7:10 AM
cds
cds
USER since 9/18/01
I hesitate to mention because many drives don't have the drivers close enough in this stuff...

The thickest nastiest areas in their home range is where they "migrate" to. Places where during a drive they don't need to run,all they have to do is keep their heads down.

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12/6/14 @ 5:02 AM
B Fish
B Fish
USER since 6/26/10
Safe Hunt: Those are both some very good statements. So like many of you are implying they not move out but they basically don't move? To be honest I don't know and that's what I am trying to learn.

So I guess the other question I should ask is how many days can a deer lay down without moving and survive.

Another way to look at it is if I was being chased by a bunch of stinky guys with guns and was fearful for my life how long could I lay under a bush? Probably as long as I could smell them because that is better than the alternative.

Edited on 12/6/14 6:15 AM
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12/5/14 @ 3:38 PM
Safe Hunt
Safe Hunt
USER since 11/2/12
Why do we see more does and fawns and very few bucks when pressure rises? Who knows, but the only family unit is the doe and her fawns. Have you ever tried to control a 4 yr old or a young puppy? They get up and move many times despite the best efforts of good parents. And who moves with them, the doe. Mother Nature is great but not that different.

Fish during the day on busy busy lakes. Do they move far or just seek cover? Darkness comes, boats stop and fish bite, low light yes, but also low pressure

Hmm

Edited on 12/5/14 3:40 PM
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12/5/14 @ 3:34 PM
Safe Hunt
Safe Hunt
USER since 11/2/12
Just a question, if deer were moving as suggested, don't you think that increased movement would push more deer in front of more hunters? Those that think they find thick cover, lake homes and other non disturbed areas and simply lay low and or move only at night may be correct.

But they may not move far

Just askin

Edited on 12/5/14 10:26 PM
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12/5/14 @ 11:49 AM
pike eyes
pike eyes
USER since 12/28/10
I think you need to put it into a deer's perspective not ours. A human can run a mile in 5min. now take a deer that can run lets just say 8 to 10 times faster then us. So haw war can they go! as far as they need too. They can go a long way and don't get near as winded as we do so quickly. I know the DNR have tagged walleyes in the spring with transmitters and they will swim 40 to 50 miles in a day. Different topic but there to just give you a idea what wildlife can do

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12/5/14 @ 10:19 AM
qdmaguy
qdmaguy
USER since 6/14/10
I don't believe there is any research on deer essentially "migrating" during gun season. With the exception of deer in far northern areas migrating to wintering grounds...there is no evidence of deer migration.

Deer aren't migrating out of areas, they are adapting to the increased human presence. They will head to any area where they DON'T experience human intrusion.

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