PSU Deer Study

Meet Buck 12783 captured on February 4, 2014 as an adult (meaning he was at least 1.5 years old and had already survived at least 2 hunting seasons).

Deer-Forest Study

Home range of Buck 12783 in 2014.

His core home range is that eastern (right-hand side of image) mass of blue. Like most males, he made periodic forays outside that core area and even a long walkabout due west along the ridgetop on June 15th.

You might notice that at one point he traveled northwest, returned, and then went back again (see the 3 lines between the two clusters of locations).

We are pretty sure this is when he viewed, then purchased, and then moved into his bachelor pad.

He must have set up an appoint to tour the site with his realtor during 16-20 October, went home to think about it, talked to the bank, signed the papers on the 21st, and packed up and moved on the 22nd.

It must have been quite the place because he stayed through the end of the year.

As is always the case, all good things must come to an end. On February 1, 2015, Buck 12783 decided to leave his bachelor pad and return to his home in the east.

But what I really like about this guy is his predictability! That walkabout he took in 2014 to the west along the ridgetop in June? He did the same thing in 2015. This time in March.

Deer-Forest Study

Home range of Buck 12783 in 2015.

And just to prove that he can be counted on, he returned to his bachelor pad on November 3, 2015. And stayed there until the 1st of December.

Coincidently (probably not) – December 1st was the day after the opening of deer rifle season. And he hit the road at about 8am and arrived home about 11am…no time for lollygagging this time of year.

[Note: the path he took is the one with the many locations because during the rifle season we get a location every 20 minutes]

So here we are in 2016. What is our swinging bachelor up to? He’s still hanging out at home (eastern area). I think he’s getting older and maybe outgrown the follies of this youth. Notice that he hasn’t taken any walkabouts yet this year. And he left his bachelor pad earlier (December 1st) than the previous year (February 1st).

Deer-Forest Study

Home range of Buck 12783 in 2016 through June.

It will be interesting to see when he returns to his bachelor pad this fall or if he decides to put it back on the market!

Is this behavior unusual? It’s the only time we have ever seen a buck exhibit this type of disjunct home range. Typically bucks have a core home range that simply expands during the rut. We have many examples of this behavior. For example, see the blog post “Crazy, Crazy, Crazy!

Add Buck 12783 to the list of 1-percenters – those rare adult deer that exhibit two distinct home range areas.

Not all of us can afford a summer home or a bachelor pad. For those that can’t, we settle for the abbreviated version known as summer vacation. Can you guess who else does too?

-Duane Diefenbach and Jeannine Fleegle

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Related article:

Summer Homes – Part 1

Summer Vacations

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