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Your thoughts concerning deer behavior #8201198 03/13/21 03:13 AM
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Texas Dan Offline OP
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Watched six does this past week while hog hunting. Noticed what looked like the matriarch doe repeatedly chasing off one of them. It wasn't a young buck with shed antlers because I got a good look at it at close range.

Just curious as to what others might have learned that might explain why a doe would be chased off from other does at this time of the year. No feeder, just open pasture and mixed hardwoods and pine.

TIA

Last edited by Texas Dan; 03/13/21 03:21 AM.

Dan

Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: Texas Dan] #8201369 03/13/21 11:15 AM
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Chase off or make behave, no telling. There is some structure to deer society and definite pecking orders.

Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: Texas Dan] #8201440 03/13/21 01:43 PM
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Be neat to watch

Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: Hudbone] #8201570 03/13/21 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Hudbone
Chase off or make behave, no telling. There is some structure to deer society and definite pecking orders.

^^very true


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: freerange] #8201617 03/13/21 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by freerange
Originally Posted by Hudbone
Chase off or make behave, no telling. There is some structure to deer society and definite pecking orders.

^^very true


That would be my first guess as well, one doe enforcing her dominance over the group. Or perhaps, the prior dominant doe trying to take back her position. Not sure, but perhaps the doe being chased off is an outsider to the family unit.


Dan

Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: freerange] #8201652 03/13/21 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by freerange
Originally Posted by Hudbone
Chase off or make behave, no telling. There is some structure to deer society and definite pecking orders.

^^very true

Agreed. I see this daily at my place. I've seen the same matriarch doe push, paw and chase the younger does as well as yearling bucks.


Freedom is a fragile thing ...Those who have known freedom, and then lost it, have never known it again.
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Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: Texas Dan] #8201655 03/13/21 05:50 PM
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I’ve seen that happen many times, both turkey and deer. It’s a dominance thing.


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Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: Texas Dan] #8201663 03/13/21 05:57 PM
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The natural hierarchy asserting itself. Those at the top get first crack at resources.


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Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: Hudbone] #8202175 03/14/21 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Hudbone
Chase off or make behave, no telling. There is some structure to deer society and definite pecking orders.

up


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Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #8202254 03/14/21 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
I’ve seen that happen many times, both turkey and deer. It’s a dominance thing.


You forgot to include Politicians in Washington DC.

Last edited by Huskerron; 03/14/21 12:55 PM.
Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: Texas Dan] #8202330 03/14/21 02:18 PM
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I don't know if this is the case, but during this time of year I count fawns... fawning does break up into families in their particular fawning areas. They will stay in these areas until the fawns reach a certain age then they will begin to move to other areas. I don't have the exact age when they begin to move but I am close to defining it. Maybe in a couple of years I will be able to put an age when the fawns are old enough to move around the lease. I can say the fawns are less than around four months old. However, I am now in a position of possibly loosing my lease to the solar farm people and may not get to complete information gathering. Counting fawns is very hard as it takes me 5 months and a lot of money and time consuming. Actually, to be exact 5 months is not enough as some are born as late as September or even later in some cases. I begin to count fawns in May to the end of September, so you can see where I could miss a couple but not many and I don't have to be exact as now I feel I am 90 to 95 % accurate. The numbers will correlate to other data I end up with. So, I believe that does will protect their areas from other does and even bucks. I generally see three does and maybe a young buck which I believe are all in the same family. Their are exceptions as some of their areas may overlap. As our herd of deer expands I think the number of family deer could get bigger but I hope we keep the numbers in check so this may not happen. Like I say ..this may not be the case but could explain some of the area protection.

Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: fishbait] #8202565 03/14/21 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by fishbait
I don't know if this is the case, but during this time of year I count fawns... fawning does break up into families in their particular fawning areas. They will stay in these areas until the fawns reach a certain age then they will begin to move to other areas. I don't have the exact age when they begin to move but I am close to defining it. Maybe in a couple of years I will be able to put an age when the fawns are old enough to move around the lease. I can say the fawns are less than around four months old. However, I am now in a position of possibly loosing my lease to the solar farm people and may not get to complete information gathering. Counting fawns is very hard as it takes me 5 months and a lot of money and time consuming. Actually, to be exact 5 months is not enough as some are born as late as September or even later in some cases. I begin to count fawns in May to the end of September, so you can see where I could miss a couple but not many and I don't have to be exact as now I feel I am 90 to 95 % accurate. The numbers will correlate to other data I end up with. So, I believe that does will protect their areas from other does and even bucks. I generally see three does and maybe a young buck which I believe are all in the same family. Their are exceptions as some of their areas may overlap. As our herd of deer expands I think the number of family deer could get bigger but I hope we keep the numbers in check so this may not happen. Like I say ..this may not be the case but could explain some of the area protection.


Taking a bit of a different angle, natural dispersion is something that crossed my mind as well, having read a few articles on it in the past. It would seem to be Mother Nature's way of avoiding inbreeding for both does and bucks. I thought perhaps the doe was being chased off to ensure it dropped its next fawn in another area. I could see where this could increase the chance of survival of the fawns from both does. Again, there are no feeders on the tract meaning food source was not at play.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 03/14/21 05:53 PM.

Dan

Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: Huskerron] #8202766 03/14/21 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Huskerron
Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
I’ve seen that happen many times, both turkey and deer. It’s a dominance thing.


You forgot to include Politicians in Washington DC.


I said turkey. grin


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Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: Texas Dan] #8203358 03/15/21 01:13 PM
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We see this sometimes in our management program. We may take a doe that still has a fawn tagging along. The fawn will sometimes hang around the area but other does won't let it stay with them and the fawn will start following the bucks and then eventually show up on a different part of the ranch. Most of the time the doe fawns will always be an outcast and join other outcast fawns to start their own group. We'll notice a yearling doe group start up, The next year they will have more fawns with them.


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Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: hook_n_line] #8203440 03/15/21 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by hook_n_line
We see this sometimes in our management program. We may take a doe that still has a fawn tagging along. The fawn will sometimes hang around the area but other does won't let it stay with them and the fawn will start following the bucks and then eventually show up on a different part of the ranch. Most of the time the doe fawns will always be an outcast and join other outcast fawns to start their own group. We'll notice a yearling doe group start up, The next year they will have more fawns with them.


Makes sense. A new group of outcast does would likely carry different genetics, which would be a very good thing once it comes time for the rut and breeding.


Dan

Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: Texas Dan] #8206636 03/18/21 02:48 PM
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Maybe the one deer just doesn't like the other. I'm not being a wise guy but sometimes we tend to think of animals as having some type of robot nature. I blame the scientists that never deal with anything other that caged animals in laboratories. I've read that bass assess how many calories a minnow might have and whether they will expend more calories chasing it than the minnow will provide, etc. etc. etc. If all that is true why do animals just romp around for fun, swallows soaring around, otters sliding down banks, etc.

Here's a good story. When I was a kid I had this big farm dog that liked to run around with these huge sticks- 8 feet long. He never hit me but he would zip back and forth missing me by an inch. This dog was really smart- we played football together- try tackling a dog! In any event we were out one day and there were no big sticks around so he tried pulling up a small sapling. He eventually realized the roots were so strong he could not pull it out of the ground. He dropped the sapling and just stared at it, deep in thought. I was wondering what that dog was thinking. Suddenly his head pops up and he starts looking around. "what's that dog thinking?" I kept wondering. He then picks up the sapling and braces it against a nearby tree and snaps it in two- thereby getting his big stick and runs off with it, happy as can be. I thought at the time half the human race isn't as smart as that dog.

And I've had other dogs dumber than a door nail.

Last edited by Dave Scott; 03/18/21 02:50 PM.
Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #8226794 04/06/21 10:51 AM
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Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: Texas Dan] #8236839 04/15/21 03:46 AM
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We definitely have different cliques of doe on our place. Typically one or two mature doe, a yearling or two, and a couple of fawns. I usually identify three to four groups like that every year that live on the same ground but don't interact much with one another. If two cliques end up on the same feeder it usually doesn't last long before one group moves on. If on a food plot they'll maintain a distance between groups.It is fun to watch for sure.


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Re: Your thoughts concerning deer behavior [Re: psycho0819] #8237205 04/15/21 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by psycho0819
We definitely have different cliques of doe on our place. Typically one or two mature doe, a yearling or two, and a couple of fawns. I usually identify three to four groups like that every year that live on the same ground but don't interact much with one another. If two cliques end up on the same feeder it usually doesn't last long before one group moves on. If on a food plot they'll maintain a distance between groups.It is fun to watch for sure.


While we might expect these groups to be from the same family, it would make more sense that Mother Nature would make sure that's not the case for better breeding genetics. I remember reading the natural dispersion is more common with bucks, but there's evidence it happens with does as well.

Here's the link to a good read on the subject for those who might have a strong interest in the topic.

Population density influences dispersal in female white-tailed deer


Dan

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