onX Maps
Bucks range...
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
scentman 12-Dec-23
greg simon 12-Dec-23
Will 12-Dec-23
Nyati 12-Dec-23
KSflatlander 12-Dec-23
Buckdeer 12-Dec-23
Zbone 12-Dec-23
WV Mountaineer 12-Dec-23
Bake 12-Dec-23
steve 12-Dec-23
Ziek 12-Dec-23
beemann 12-Dec-23
Zbone 13-Dec-23
John in MO / KY 13-Dec-23
LBshooter 14-Dec-23
Wildan2 15-Dec-23
Zbone 20-Dec-23
Candor 20-Dec-23
scentman 20-Dec-23
From: scentman
12-Dec-23
What is let's say a 2.5 yr. old Whitetail bucks range during the rut? A buck was killed by automobile 7 miles from where I believe I had him on trail cam last month on my property. Does that sound far or common for a buck looking for a doe? scentman

From: greg simon
12-Dec-23
Sounds pretty far to me. Not impossible but above average.

From: Will
12-Dec-23
Makes sense to me. All the GPS stuff coming out (of collared deer) shows some range quite a ways. Heck, there was one here that would travel 13 miles almost in line to get to it's winter range. That buck had to cross a small "city" of about 11K people (worked around it) and a divided highway... But he did it each year.

During the rut, they roam for sure.

From: Nyati
12-Dec-23
Probably a little more than average. Deer are like people, everyone is different. The average is probably around 2-4 miles. Some don’t move much at all , while some may move 10 or more miles. Lots depend on habitat type and deer density.

From: KSflatlander
12-Dec-23
Home range depends on a lot of variables. Food, water, cover, buck:doe ratio, population density, predators (humans included), pressure, topography, habitat, developments, agriculture...so on and so on. It's not one size fits all. There are plenty of wildlife biology journal articles on the net if you search for them. It can be 10 miles in the west and 400 acres in the east.

From: Buckdeer
12-Dec-23
75% of the bucks on my place stay 75% of the time I bet on less than 100 acres except some move more during rut.It's funny I have bucks that I have never had a picture just a couple hundred yards from where I get them every day

From: Zbone
12-Dec-23
Multiple factors probably play a part, mainly buck to doe ratio, if does all around and low competition from other bucks no reason to travel... Terrain probably factors as does hunting pressure, 10 miles is probably far but not unheard of... As was mentioned above, a deer's individuality, whitetails have certain traits, but they all are different...

I think it was Rothhaar wrote about a buck he knew of was seen or killed during the rut (I think it was roadkilled if I remember correctly) 12 miles away from where he'd seen it a day or two before...

Ironically I recently read a study from Penn State with radio collared bucks on this subject: "During a 12-hr period he traveled over 5 miles and over a mile in elevation!" "All told, between the 4th and 27th of November (24 days) he traveled 85 miles. The previous 24 days he traveled a total of 23 miles."

I've always thought bucks travel further than most thought, bucks seen through summer and early fall disappear in November and unknown bucks appear, then the surviving resident bucks reappear at a winter food source so yeah, would say it's far but not uncommon...

12-Dec-23
No. It’s not uncommon in these parts.

From: Bake
12-Dec-23
I don't know that it's too uncommon honestly. several years ago I killed a late season buck with a very distinctive rack. The kid that did the euro for me had pictures of that deer all summer and fall 5 1/2 miles from where I killed him. Flat farm ground country, bet there weren't over 50 trees in that 5 1/2 miles. He basically walked from cover to cover. I wonder how often he did it?

My cousins and I hunt some ground that is separated by about 2 miles. Very common to see the same deer on both farms. I always have to remind myself that I could walk that 2 miles in 30 minutes. To a deer it's just a short stroll.

7 miles doesn't surprise me at all.

From: steve
12-Dec-23
we have them on camera 3 to four miles apart. most are home bodies thou.

From: Ziek
12-Dec-23
Several years ago my wife shot a collared WT doe in NE Colorado. We found out it had been collared 4 years earlier and about 60 miles north in Nebraska. It was not likely it had traversed the intervening terrain. More likely it had followed river drainages covering about 120 miles.

From: beemann
12-Dec-23

beemann's embedded Photo
beemann's embedded Photo
beemann's embedded Photo
beemann's embedded Photo
Last year I had a 4x4 that had a little pimple like point in between the G2 and G3 on camera. In late October he showed up on a different camera. Straight line on google earth is 7.3 Miles. This summer a buck showed up that looked like him back on the original farm. He's a 4x4 again but this year he's has double forks on the G2 and G3 on the same side the pimple was on last year. I figured it was him but you can never be sure. So this year late October all of a sudden he shows up on the other camera again . He's been there ever since....

From: Zbone
13-Dec-23
I receive Penn State deer study newsletters, ironically received one today and within:

"A few years ago a 3.5 year old buck in Missouri went MIA with a GPS collar. He hit the road on November 4th traveling ~186 miles in 22 days. This type of movement is so rare N17003 was the subject of an entire scientific paper."

As said, deer are individuals, and I never say never with whitetails...8^)

13-Dec-23

John in MO / KY's Link
This buck ranged a good way!

From: LBshooter
14-Dec-23
You have one time in a year for some lady fun, how far would you range lol? Bucks will range quite far so if your sure it's the same deer that proof is all you need.

14-Dec-23

Ricky The Cabel Guy's Link
just read this recently...

From: Wildan2
15-Dec-23
Between all the neighbors we have maybe 15 cameras out;we all have the same bucks on camera at different times(very distinctive racks) at least 4 square miles.There were about 20 bucks shot in this area this year(maybe more) that I have heard of.This is Northern NY state.All but one were 7pt.or better,couple really nice bucks(for our area).

From: Zbone
20-Dec-23
I just watched a thing on the B&C #2 typical from Indiana, Huff Buck and said he was a 5-year old and his 4-year old sheds were found 8-1/2 miles away...

From: Candor
20-Dec-23
get on youtube and watch MSU's (Mississippi State U's) short series on their GPS collared bucks. It is like 7 or 8 episodes that are 3 to 4 minutes each. There may be more episodes I just haven't gotten that far yet. It is interesting in the contrast in types of bucks as far as wanderers and homebodies. If I was a mature buck my ass would get shot because I would be a wanderer....

From: scentman
20-Dec-23
Thank you for the responses, good stuff. scentman

  • Sitka Gear