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Deer Paparazzi

Posted: November 24, 2014

Biologists are stalking deer but it’s not with a camera.

You stare longingly at that rub made on a 3” sapling.  Looking up through the woods, you can see 3 or 4 more rubs.  You can trace the line he took but he is nowhere to be found of course.  You missed him but by how long and where could he be now?  

What we see in the woods is history.  Rubs, scrapes, trail cam photos – leave us a day late and dollar short.  If we could only see the present or better yet the future!   

Seeing the future is still a dream but seeing the present…that may be a reality.  Enter the deer paparazzi!  

Some may call us deer biologists, but really we are deer stalkers.  Give us some new fangled technology and we become deer paparazzi.  That new fangled technology is GPS collars and with a few key strokes they can track that buck every 20 minutes. A dot on a map every 20 minutes…72 dots a day…and nearly 1,000 dots during the 2013 2-week rifle season.  

That’s a lot of dots! Lucky for you, we have picked out the cool stuff and boiled them down into blog posts which will be appearing here over the next few weeks.  

For starters, we can answer that all important question: do I really need to get up this early!?! That cold, dark, December morn is not nearly as welcoming as that cozy, warm bed.     Archery hunters can sleep in.  Why can’t we!  It’s way colder in December than November.

Rest easy gun hunters (in that nice warm bed).  Bucks in December are traveling in the middle of the day too, at least on those all important days of the gun season (i.e., opening day, second day, and the 2 Saturdays). 

On most days, these bucks were settled into their happy place at sunrise usually arriving around 5:00AM. Most of them stayed there enjoying the start of a new day until about 10:00AM. After that, they were on the move. 

When were you mostly likely to catch our GPS-collared bucks moving during those 4 key days of the 2013 rifle season? Check out the graph!  Most bucks moved between noon and 1PM. They laid low for most of the afternoon then picked up their activity again after 4PM. 

How often is life fair?  Ummm, never…so rifle hunters rejoice!  You too can spend an extra hour or 2 in that nice, cozy, warm bed. 

-Chris Rosenberry
PGC Deer and Elk Section Supervisor

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