A buck gone for a long walk
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
blue spot 12-Jun-21
Korey Wolfe 12-Jun-21
t-roy 12-Jun-21
Matt 12-Jun-21
t-roy 12-Jun-21
Pat Lefemine 12-Jun-21
JL 12-Jun-21
keepemsharp 12-Jun-21
JohnMC 12-Jun-21
Rgiesey 12-Jun-21
Errorhead 12-Jun-21
Huntcell 12-Jun-21
Pop-r 13-Jun-21
Bou'bound 13-Jun-21
blue spot 13-Jun-21
fuzzy 14-Jun-21
redquebec 14-Jun-21
DanaC 14-Jun-21
Cheesehead Mike 15-Jun-21
MF 15-Jun-21
blue spot 15-Jun-21
Will 15-Jun-21
From: blue spot

blue spot's embedded Photo
The record-setting 300-kilometer track of deer N17003, who started just north of Kansas City and crossed a major highway (3), a river (4) and railroads to traverse the state of Missouri.
blue spot's embedded Photo
The record-setting 300-kilometer track of deer N17003, who started just north of Kansas City and crossed a major highway (3), a river (4) and railroads to traverse the state of Missouri.
I was just reading the newsletter from UNH and thought you all might be interested in reading this research summary. You can't hold all the deer on your property no matter how much you own. I can't get the link to imbed so this is the best I can share.


The Buck Stops Where? Researchers record farthest-ever deer movement: 300K over 21 days Thursday, May 27, 2021 Map of Missouri with deer's track overlaid The record-setting 300-kilometer track of deer N17003, who started just north of Kansas City and crossed a major highway (3), a river (4) and railroads to traverse the state of Missouri.

A UNH researcher has discovered the longest travel distance ever recorded by an adult male white-tailed deer — 300 kilometers, or about 200 miles, in just three weeks. The study, led by assistant professor of wildlife ecology Remington Moll and published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, has important implications for population management and the transmission of disease, especially chronic wasting disease, in this iconic species. Nearly 8 million Americans hunt deer, contributing more than $20 billion to the U.S. economy.

“It looks like someone took the GPS collar and drove across the state of Missouri.” Moll made this discovery as he analyzed data from GPS radio collars on more than 600 deer in Missouri; he began that research when he was a postdoctoral researcher at Michigan State University and is continuing to work on the project at UNH. “This extraordinary movement just jumped out,” he says. “We thought it was an error. It looks like someone took the GPS collar and drove across the state of Missouri.”

To confirm the findings, Moll and his coauthors surveyed the scientific literature for other dispersals — long-distance travel — of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). The deer known as N17003 stood head and antlers above others; his walkabout was 174 kilometers longer than any other recorded for an adult male deer.

The findings were remarkable not only for the buck’s range — he roamed a distance equivalent to that from New York City to Baltimore, between the Missouri towns of Stanbury and Paris — but also because unlike juvenile males, who move to seek advantageous breeding opportunities, adult males tend to stay put. In his travels, between Nov. 4 and 22, 2017 N17003 crossed a major river seven times, an interstate highway, a railroad and eight state highways.

Trail camera image of buck A TRAIL CAMERA IMAGE OF BUCK N17003. CREDIT: MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION. Why did this deer cross the road (and the river, and the railroad)? “We can only guess,” says Moll. “In some ways the study raises more questions than it answers: Why would it keep going, even passing by good habitat?” Moll surmises that hunting was a factor, since N17003 moved quickly at night but hunkered down during the day. “Deer know when it’s hunting season. They hear the first gunshots and they remember the year before,” he says, noting deer sometimes move into areas where hunting is not allowed.

Moll suspects that relatively newer technology like GPS collars is driving insights like this one. “We call this a rare event, but we haven’t been putting collars out for that long, and not in these large numbers,” he says. “It’s entirely possible that while this is an uncommon event, it could be happening with greater frequency than we’ve known.”

Understanding how and how far deer travel is important for managing the species and controlling chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological disease spread by direct deer-to-deer contact and the environment. Knowing that deer are crossing county or even state lines highlights a need for regional management coordination.

Moll acknowledges that such a stunning finding in this common, well-studied species was unexpected. “Deer are one of the most abundant, well-known, intensely managed species of wildlife in the United States,” he says. “So to make this discovery despite all this attention is pretty surprising.”

Funding for this study is from the Missouri Department of Conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the University of Montana. Co-authors are Jon T. Roberts and Joshua J. Millspaugh, University of Montana; Kevyn H. Wiskirchen, Jason A. Sumners, Jason L. Isabelle and Barbara J. Keller, Missouri Department of Conservation; and Robert A. Montgomery, Michigan State University.

From: Korey Wolfe
Very cool! I actually went to school with Remington Moll the coordinator.

From: t-roy
Interesting. I don’t know why these researchers insist on using kilometers instead of miles in the States, though…. I have to pm Ambush or the Pauls brothers to get the exchange rate!

From: Matt
Multiply by 1.8 and add 32 degrees I think.

From: t-roy
That’s only south of the equator, I’m pretty sure.

From: Pat Lefemine
Looks like he was trying to get as far away from Kansas City as he could. Who could blame him.

From: JL
Maybe he heard Rage broadheads are now the BH of choice in Kansas?

From: keepemsharp
Blue Spot must be british?

From: JohnMC
That was the way it was when I was single. The other males would run 300 kilometers crossed a major river seven times, an interstate highway, a railroad and eight state highways just to make sure they did not get in my way. ;)

From: Rgiesey
Kurt speaks in kilometers now and I tell him we don’t go kilometers.

From: Errorhead
I drove to Memphis to see a girl once, I was a teenager though.

From: Huntcell
Nothing much ado about nothing!

From: Pop-r
Very interesting. Back when we used to run dogs the mature bucks would make one circle in their home range (sometimes) and then head for a lake that's about 20 miles from us and would be there in just a bit if you had enough hound to put them there. Never failed. They knew where they were going from the get go.

From: Bou'bound
We know he was NOT going to bass pro in Springfield.

From: blue spot
Keepemsharp, I am a consulting forester. Blue paint is what we mark timber for harvest with. There isn't much in my life that doesn't have at least a little paint on it! Dog included. I am not very imaginative on names. Pop-R , reminds me of a logging job I had a few years ago. Was a late fall job. The owner of the logging company was off someplace in canada hunting. 100% baited hunt. He saw loads of deer but nothing impressive. The logging job had just got going and there were multiple parallel trails of wood bunched running down slope to near the edge of a pond. We got a cold snap that made 2" of ice over night. This either steered a deer towards a pond or the deer was going to swim away from the coyotes. When the crew got there in the morning the coyotes were eating a big buck that had jumped into the pond. Because of the ice it had broke a leg or pelvis. The smallest guy on the crew scampered out on the ice and got the head. It was way bigger than anything the owner had seen on his out of state hunt. Erik

From: fuzzy
Pat L wins the comments on this one.

From: redquebec
Years ago I saw a study like this that was very thought provoking. A buck with a radio collar traveled around on his "home range" of a few square miles. At the age of 2 he went on a walk about and found a secluded area 20 miles away, bedded there for a few days, and came back to his home territory. A curious little excursion because he never went back to said sanctuary. The buck was collared and studied for the duration of his life and lived to the age of 7 or 8 (if I remember correctly). He managed to survive all the pressures of hunting and predation and then....

Upon reaching old age he must have known he was not well and covered the twenty miles back to the little "sanctuary" he found as a young buck, laid down in the bed he made years before, and died there of natural causes. It was a biological science study with a scientific write-up, but it filled my mind with wonder. Amazing.

This Missouri buck's epic journey is just crazy, so much for keeping "your deer" on "your property" and off your "neighbor's property."

From: DanaC
I've heard of bears traveling like this.

One sow collared in central Mass. made her way to an area outside Hartford CT, spent a few weeks munching on the local backyard bird feeders, and then returned home. (Where she has no record of hitting bird feeders.)

I guess we're going to learn a lot more from GPS collars. Maybe need to rethink holding out for one 'target' buck during the rut ?

He'll be easy to kill now that they got him patterned.

From: MF

MF's Link
Cool stuff!

From: blue spot

thanks. very interesting read

From: Will
That's awesome, thanks for posting that.

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