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Every dedicated hunter knows that where and when to hunt is of importance, especially in deer hunting. This species is among the most alert families in the wild, and their swift nature compliments its lengthy lifespan. Because of this reason, even during the hunting season, most shooters are unable to get into contact with worthy targets.
Deer follow a strict timeline in their daytime activities and follow specific routes while moving from one point to another. Most often than not, their movement seems to be triggered by a search for food and water, and on rare occasions escaping from danger. The schedule helps reduce their chances of coming into human or predator contact who may threaten its life.
In this article, we will expand on the different routes a deer may find best to use. It is essential to highlight that these deer trails are influenced by the season and predator population. The rut also sees the rearranging of these paths as their preference resets and takes on a different toll. During mating, most individuals prioritize finding spouses over searching for food, leading to modifications of the roads used.
Which Paths Do Deer Follow
First and foremost, it would be cruel and unjust if we did not acknowledge the witty nature observed on the deer’s behavioral patterns. Not only does this aspect increase its lifespan, but it also provides it with a less stressful lifestyle. They are said to be insecure during daylight. They do not move long distances in open areas with minimal tree and vegetation coverage. Their routes are naturally bushy with a dense tree population that acts as food and cover from danger.
Their common paths seem to change during the hunting season, and they prefer deeper woods and traveling under the creek. So, if you are wondering whether deer bed in the same spot during the season, then no, they avoid their common bedding areas, and with the help of their nose, any scent of humans in their surroundings is taken as danger. Dense and dark routes are best for the season and provide the herd with enough confidence to travel through the daylight to feed.
Towards the Wind
A critical behavior to note is that during their travel is that they always head towards the wind. Intense research proves that this is an adaptation from consistent attacks from its back, which records large scores of deer lives. While at such a position, the wind can amplify the sound and scent from its direction, allowing it to sense danger from a distance. Immediately it confirms the threat; its first instinct is to inform its herd and dash away swiftly away from danger.
As the season progresses, the food count reduces, forcing the deer to travel longer distances. Its routes in such a scenario do not change; however, it begins its travels earlier to avoid its timeline catching them past. As a hunter, look for worthy options in areas with moderate forest coverage and a direct route from their bedding areas to their feeding region.
When Do Deer Move?
Insecure is a word that entirely describes the deer’s behavior during daylight. In simple terms, it feels too exposed when in bright surroundings and finds itself more susceptible to danger from predators and hunters. Due to this, we find the deer following strict timelines to ensure that it clears almost every possibility of facing severe injuries or death.
Studies show that a deer takes two trips catering for both its feeding and thirst-quenching needs at dawn and dusk. The first journey sets off at dawn, from 4-8 AM, before the average hunter decides to visit the forest.
When the food to deer ratio is at its minimum, it may extend its morning trip up to 10 AM and return to cover before too much daylight fills the earth. The evening stroll kicks off at 4-10 PM, as it takes advantage of the blinding darkness.
Strict observations of this timeframe help keep the deer out of unnecessary trouble, which in return, handsomely improves its lifespan. According to numerous enthusiasts, dawn travel is usually the longer of the two since it is more energetic but hungrier.
As early as it is, it takes advantage of the darkness and does its best to beat the daylight when returning to its bedding area. After a long rest, the evening trip begins, and the potency of its eyes allow for night vision abilities.
The better portion of the deer’s day is spent resting in its various bedding areas. After this long rest period, it will have to visit its feeding and drinking quarters one last time before the night arrives. At around four in the evening, you may observe a herd leaving its bed and heading towards its feeding spot. Among their many adaptation features, its potent retina aids in providing the deer with night-vision like abilities giving it clear visions regardless of light conditions.
As the night grows older, the deer gets tired, and before 10 PM, it returns to the most suitable bedding area. Deer, mostly does, have more than one bedding area, and the choice of which to use lies on the herds head. In these late nights, they remain calm not to draw too much attention their way and look forward to the morning.
How Often Do Deer Move in a Day?
How long and frequent a deer is in motion varies in each individual and is mostly influenced by age. Young fawns tend to spend most of their daylight while on their feet since they are more energetic, whereas older ones prefer resting. Unlike the young counterparts, these elders always have wounds and injuries to heal as their bodies’ age.
In your locality, you should be familiar with the various deer trails and beds after the first two seasons. Such knowledge will ease your approach and guarantee you a worthy prize in every hunt.
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.