Using passive cameras to monitor activity patterns of white-tailed deer
MetadataShow full item record
Although white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) behavior has been researched extensively, previous studies found conflicting results regarding factors influencing activity patterns. I analyzed trail camera data to assess the impacts of seasonality, diel period, and weather on deer activity patterns in southwestern Georgia. At the annual scale, diel period was the best predictor of adult female activity, with a distinct activity peak during dusk hours. The best predictor of adult male and yearling activity at the annual scale was biological season, with 61.4% of adult male detections occurring during the rut. An extreme drought occurred from October – December 2016, which provided an opportunity to assess the influence of drought on activity. Female activity increased during the drought, but male activity was not influenced, likely because the drought and breeding season occurring concurrently. Differences in nutritional requirements and breeding behaviors likely explain variations between male and female activity patterns.