PSU Deer Study

The Real Does of the Deer Forest Study: Pregnant and On the Move


In our last installment, Doe 12866 was acquainting us with her movements around her home range. Nothing out of the ordinary. But she was restless.

On May 1 at 2100, she headed north and 8 hours later she arrived in State College – over 6 miles from where she started.

Unlike The Boss who made a wrong turn and just kept going, Doe 12866 was on a mission. She walked nearly a straight line over 3 ridges overnight to reach her destination including Musser’s Gap which is over 2000 foot elevation gain. Who knows maybe she even used the hiking trail!

And she was very pregnant. Doe 12866 was less than a month shy of giving birth. Which begs the question, did she travel to State College for the sole purpose of fawning? Does exhibit high birth site fidelity and from the direct manner in which she traveled, it is highly likely she has given birth here previously. 

But her home range is clearly defined 6+ miles south on Rothrock State Forest. How did she discover this fawning area? Do other does from that area also travel here to fawn? Did she join a “mom group” in State College?

More questions we will never know the answer to.

Be sure to join us next week as Doe 12866 welcomes her fawn into the world.

-Jeannine Fleegle
Wildlife Biologist

PS. Thanks to Jim Benner for the reality TV idea 😉

All Posts in this series:
The Real Does of the Deer Forest Study: The New Norm?
The Real Does of the Deer Forest Study: Pregnant and On the Move
The Real Does of the Deer Forest Study: Maternity Ward
The Real Does of the Deer Forest Study: Love and Loss
The Real Does of the Deer Forest Study: Holiday Drama and Life Lessons

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