Whitetail does running in circles.Contributors to this thread:
WV Mountaineer 03-Feb-24
Kurt in Memphis 03-Feb-24
walking buffalo 04-Feb-24
We live in South Central Illinois where we have a relatively small farm and hay operation. We watch deer behavior all year long and photograph and video deer often. One humorous behavior that we enjoy is in the mid winter when there are absolutely no insects or flies and we observe small groups of three to six does suddenly begin to sprint in large circles as if playing or frisking. This happens with relative frequency and is amazing. Years ago when we first saw this we were quite startled but have grown used to it, however it never grows old. We would enjoy hearing from others who have observed this odd behavior.
From: WV Mountaineer
See it often outside of the rut. Deer are social animals. And social animals play together.
I’ve seen deer do this as well, but have only seen a single deer at a time doing it, other than a pair one time. Feeling their oats, I guess.
It sounds like they are learning in from each other. Kind of like pods of killer whales all have different languages and hunting style. I have seen deer do that a couple times but not often. 6 month old deer seem to play more than adults. I have watched elk do it, looked like young elk, splashing and playing when they came in to water. Really cool to watch!
I had several deer doing that this Fall.....but it didn't seem playful, it seemed urgent. Two minutes later I had a black bear walk out right (18 yards away) where some of them had ran......
As you stated, no bugs or flies... also noticed when weather was nice for deer and food sources were opening up. Also when they feel safe they are content and happy.
I’ve even got trail cam pics of a 3 year old buck doing it. He was splashing in a puddle in a late summer cool snap. I think deer do it when the weather is nice and they’re not so worried about food or heat or bugs
Got a cool summertime trail-cam video of a buck in velvet teasing 3 turkey gobblers or 3 turkeys teasing a buck, whichever way it was...8^)
Yep. Can have a bunch of mean does fighting at my feeder. Quite often a fawn will start running around playing & pretty soon they all join in quite often. Seems to happen more towards spring here. Quite entertaining
Last fall I seen a doe sprinting full sprint in about a 300 yard circle until she was tired and laboured breathing. Then she stood still as a statue for 10 mins then suddenly started sprinting again. Me thinks this was something slightly different than what you’re saying…
Maybe its a way to make sure their muscles will work when they need them. Unlike the exercise us keyboard Olympians are getting.
From: Kurt in Memphis
I saw several yearling deer running in circles for 10-15 minutes in a kudzu field. They were just like kids playing chase with each other. They would switch who was chasing and who was getting chased. Reminded me of my 8 month old golden retriever when she gets the 'zoomies.' Their size was similar to my dog as well. Very fun to watch them.
Been a couple years ago an 80 acre field I watch, the same fawn would be the first deer out in the afternoon & run a couple laps around the field like clockwork.
See it all the time, especially in summer. Usually young deer and seems to irritate the older deer but sometimes the elders finally get coaxed into joining the fun. Seen up to 7 or 8 deer joining in.
From: walking buffalo
Girls just wanna have fun....
Watched a button buck harass a couple of turkeys one time. It was really funny.
Yeah Ironbow those button bucks can be mischievous and fun to watch... One fall watched 4 coon cubs on their own and a button buck on is own go round and round, bout laughed out loud while in a tree stand... I was in a pinch point and the coon where coming from my left and the button was coming from my right and the met right in front of me only a few yards away... It was funny great...8^)
While in the stand several years ago I heard the leaves rustling, grabbed my bow, only to see a heifer chasing a doe. Lasted for several minutes...
I witnessed that one time while hunting and thought "what in the heck is wrong with that animal!"