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Migration and Seasonal Range Dynamics of Deer Using Adjacent Deeryards in Northern Michigan

Timothy R. Van Deelen, Henry Campa, III, Maya Hamady and Jonathan B. Haufler
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 62, No. 1 (Jan., 1998), pp. 205-213
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3802280
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3802280
Page Count: 9
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Migration and Seasonal Range Dynamics of Deer Using Adjacent Deeryards in Northern Michigan
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Abstract

In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, forest management that seeks to integrate wildlife, recreation, and silviculture goals is complicated by the seasonal movements of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) between summer and winter ranges. From January 1992 to January 1995, we conducted a radiotelemetry study of seasonal range use by deer that winter in 2 important deeryards in the central Upper Peninsula. Distance, direction, and timing of seasonal movements between summer and winter ranges were largely independent of age class or sex (P > 0.05, n = 95). Yearly overlap of seasonal ranges for individual deer suggested that spatial use was traditional. Overlap of composite ranges of deer that occupied study area deeryards suggested that herds specific to deeryards were isolated spatially during winter but not other seasons. These findings suggest a secondary level of social structure reflecting the location of suitable winter range in the surrounding landscape. We suggest that managers use deeryard-summer range pairs that are connected by the migration tradition of discrete deer herds to design deer management units (DMUs) that are biologically meaningful. The surgical application of liberal hunting regulations in selected DMUs could then provide a landscape-level network of areas managed for the benefit of species and communities that are threatened by deer herbivory.

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