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Investigation of Adult Male White-tailed Deer Excursions Outside Their Home Range

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Karns, Gabriel R.
Lancia, Richard A.
DePerno, Christopher S.
Conner, Mark C.


- Although male and female Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed Deer) exhibit high site fi delity throughout the year, individuals occasionally leave their home ranges on short excursions during the fall and winter months. Although motives for these extraneous movements are diffi cult to discern, excursions are likely the function of the breeding season, food sources, limited escape cover, and/or human disturbances. From 2003–2007, we examined GPS collar locations of 32 adult male White-tailed Deer at Chesapeake Farms, MD. Seasonal excursions (n = 37), defi ned as movements lasting a minimum of 6 hours and venturing at least 0.5 km from 95% kernel home-range contours, were examined relative to possible motives related to food resources, breeding, and hunting pressure. Sixty-three percent (n = 20) of adult males made at least one excursion outside their home range immediately before or during breeding season. Based on the seasonal timing of excursions, breeding-season-related motives were likely the driving force behind the majority of adult male White-tailed Deer excursions, whereas hunting pressure and food resources were not a probable cause.