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Thursday, August 9 • 3:40pm - 4:00pm
Space Use 2 Track: In Search of Does: Male White-Tailed Deer Exhibit Unique Movement Patterns During the Breeding Season

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AUTHORS: Ashley M. Jones, Steve Demarais, Garrett M. Street, Bronson K. Strickland – Mississippi State University; William T. McKinley, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

ABSTRACT: Mate searching strategies in male white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) have been attributed to random walks informed by olfactory cues, with little variation assumed across individuals. Recent research in the arid southwestern U.S. demonstrated repeated visitation of focal areas by 56% of bucks during the breeding season, presumably as a strategy for locating receptive does. We evaluated focal area use during the breeding season of 30 adult male deer in south eastern U.S. deciduous forests. Sixty-seven percent of mature male deer exhibited focal area use, providing evidence that the focal area search strategy persists across other portions of the white-tailed deer’s range. Understanding that different patterns in mate searching behavior exist among groups of males and that spatial memory contributes to an animal’s mating strategy could aid management and hunting efforts.

Thursday August 9, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm
Assembly Hall B

Attendees (9)