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By BSK
#111050
Some really cool GPS-collar studies are being conducted out there Jack. One even had GPS data collectors on both the hunters and deer! They found direct hunter avoidance behavior of the deer (deer moving away from and avoiding hunter stand locations).

Probably the most fascinating GPS-collar study I know of is looking at older buck rut behavior/ranges. They are finding some astounding stuff that once again blows away much of what we thought we knew about deer home ranges.

Honestly, the GPS-collar study we ran changed my view completely on not only "what deer do all day" but also how deer move around within their range.

To be honest, in many situations, what we've been reading for decades about how deer move and how to hunt them is dead wrong.
#111054
Bryan,

Speaking of GPSing hunters: It has been quite a while and I can't remember where I read it. I recall there was one study where they GPSed the hunters, not the deer. They then asked the hunters in an exit poll how far their hunting location was from the road or major trail. (I'm trying to recall this from memory so I may not have the numbers right). I think the average hunter indicated he walked about 2 miles and the GPS data indicated about 200 yards.

I think the point of this study was:
- Few hunters venture far off the main drag.
- Hunter data can be very unreliable especially when it requires judgement.


Thanks,

Jack
By BSK
#111057
I think the average hunter indicated he walked about 2 miles and the GPS data indicated about 200 yards.

I think the point of this study was:
- Few hunters venture far off the main drag.
- Hunter data can be very unreliable especially when it requires judgement.



That study was done in PA. Same place they did the hunter-deer interaction study. With the liberalization of doe harvests in PA, many hunters were deeply concerned the deer herds had been wiped out, as they were seeing few deer while hunting. GPS-collar research found that with the sudden liberalization of doe harvests, does had simply learned hunter avoidance behavior. As a link to the study you mentioned, deer simply learned to move far from roads and to stick th rugged terrain that hunters don't want to cross and they were relatively safe from hunter harvest. In fact, hunting mortality of the radio-collared deer was amazingly low.
#111091
Bryan and others,
I read the "Seasons of the Whitetail" series by John Ozaga quite awhile back and thoroughly enjoyed them. I was wondering if there was something comparable (science based but not a text book) that contained newer information and possibly closer to me geographically. I believe that study was from Michigan and I am in Missouri so much of the information didn't apply such as yarding.
By BSK
#111094
The very best source of scientific information written for hunters is Quality Whitetails magazine. It is the publication of the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA). The QDMA was created and is still primarily run by the top whitetailed deer research scientists in the world. The organization was created as an educational and "scientifically backed" information decimination tool.
#111100
I also think Deer and Deer hunting does a pretty good job of writing scientifically based articles aimed at the layman and backing up those articles with references to the underlying studies for those who have interest in digging. I believe Ozaga is a frequent author there. I think Quality Whitetails does the best job of presenting scientific based data for deer management. Deer and Deer hunting does a great job of relating scientific information to a hunting application.

Thanks,

Jack
By BSK
#111110
Deer and Deer Hunting used to be great about publishing articles by scientists. Now, not so much. Ever since they got rid of Patrick Durkin as editor, the magazine has lost the scientific aspect. Now they are still better than most hunting rags, but no where near as good as they used to be.
#111139
BSK- I would be very interested to see a 24 hr. run of a buck or two during the rut, overlayed on a digital orthoquad? What file format do the collars use? How long do the collar batts. last? Do you do the tranquilizing yourself?
By BSK
#111144
BSK- I would be very interested to see a 24 hr. run of a buck or two during the rut, overlayed on a digital orthoquad?


Seeing that data is truly eye-opening stuff. Personally, I can't post the data I have because the client that paid for the study "owns" the data. However, I will check and see if I can find a university study that is public on the web. One of the really fascinating things found in several studies is that virtually every buck 2 1/2 years old or older at some time during the rut goes "walkabout" and leaves his normal range, often traveling several miles to a new location, only to return to his normal range within a few days (usually 48 to 60 hours). Most bucks only do this once during a single rutting season. Although it's impossible to determine "why" bucks make these excursions, by looking closely at the data, it appears they go to access an estrus doe. The crazy thing is, how would they know where an estrus doe is miles from their range? And these bucks make a straight bee-line to wherever they are going.


What file format do the collars use?


Stadard SSF GPS data logging format. Most then covert this data to GIS software format, usually ArvView or ArcGIS. Through GIS software the data can be overlain onto a georeferenced aerial photo (TIFF format) or GIS map of the area.


How long do the collar batts. last?


That has always been the limiting factor in the longevity of a GPS-collar study. GPS units, even tiny ones, are fairly power-hungry. The life of the collar was primarily determined by the frequency of positioning and position logging. You could either take positions very frequently and have the collar wear down quickly, or take positions very infrequently and have the collar last much longer. However, advancements in battery technology are constantly lengthening the lifespan of GPS collars.


Do you do the tranquilizing yourself?


Yes, but it requires detailed training in drug usage and interactions as well as a special permit from the state. Plus a license to use the the drugs (like veterinarians must have).
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By Roscoe
#111149
Awesome thread gentlemen! I decided to "sticky" this one for a while!

Probably the most fascinating GPS-collar study I know of is looking at older buck rut behavior/ranges. They are finding some astounding stuff that once again blows away much of what we thought we knew about deer home ranges.


At some point will you be able to make more info on this study available?
By BSK
#111162
I hope so. It is being conducted at Auburn University. The last time I talked to the Department Head about the findings he said they were finding that many bucks alter thier range just for the duration of the rut, with some bucks up and leaving to a temporary "rut range" for the 5-6 weeks of breeding and then returning to their normal range as soon as the rut is over. In addition, some bucks showed no "fidelity" to these rut ranges from year to year. In essence, they are in a different location each year.

These findings match much of what I see when photo-censusing local buck populations over the course of an entire fall. Suddenly new bucks appear on a property just before the rut starts and then disappear post-rut. In many cases, particular bucks do not repeat this exact same rut range the following year (I see a lot of bucks shift rut ranges to a property for only one year, never to be seen in following years).
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