Space-use and movements of adult male white-tailed deer in northeastern Louisiana
Simoneaux, Taylor Nelson
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White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are an important game species and the number of adult males harvested has recently increased. Concurrently, increases in global positioning system (GPS) technology for tracking animal movements have allowed detailed studies of animal movements. Therefore, I used GPS-telemetry collars to investigate seasonal and fine-scale movements and space use of adult male deer in northeastern Louisiana. I found that males maintained largest space holdings in spring and fall/winter, followed by summer. I also found that within the reproductive season, movements and space use were greatest during the rut, followed by pre-rut and post-rut, and least during the non-breeding season. I modelled movement rates and found that circadian period, breeding chronology, and refugia from hunting were important variables for predicting movement rates. Finally, movement rates on a limited-hunting refuge were more crepuscular than on open access hunting areas, suggesting deer may be modifying behavior to avoid human predation.