Southeast Minnesota deer movement study February 28, 2019 Minnesota,

Minnesota Deer Population, Management News and Information Archive

Minnesota DNR, February 28, 2019

In 2016, chronic wasting disease was discovered in wild white-tailed deer in southeastern Minnesota's Fillmore County. The recent detection of the disease offers an opportunity to understand the ways CWD may spread across the rolling terrain of this geographically unique corner of the state.

The study is designed to gather data on deer movement and first began in March 2018. During the first season of the study, a total of 109 deer were outfitted with GPS collars.

The study is focused on deer movements because not much is known about how they use the landscape in and around the CWD management zone, which is called deer permit area 603.

Study update

Based on preliminary analysis of the data, the average winter home range size was 1.60 km2for juvenile females, 2.28 km2 for juvenile males and 2.96 km2 for adult males. These winter home range estimates align with our expectations of deer activity at this time of year.

During the spring dispersal period from mid-April through mid-July, 28 percent of juvenile bucks and 40 percent of juvenile does dispersed from their birth range. The longest movement measured so far is that of a juvenile doe that traveled approximately 77 linear miles from where she was collared. The average dispersal distance travelled for juvenile does was 30.4 km (n=8) and 14.6 km (n=8) for juvenile bucks.

When we remove two outliers (does that travelled a linear distance of 64 km and 124 km, respectively), the average dispersal distance for does declines to about 10 km. Only 17 percent of collared adult bucks moved greater than five miles from their winter range.

Current collar statistics [Updated 11/27/2018]

Age & genderNumber being tracked
Juvenile bucks24
Juvenile does17
Adult bucks6
Total47

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