Researchers at Mississippi State’s Deer Lab analyzed the movements of 30 GPS-collared adult bucks, and found that 20 of them, or 68%, were “sedentary” and confined their movements to a single home range. The other 10 bucks were more adventurous and mobile, moving back and forth between multiple home range sites and core areas from summer to fall and winter. These mobile bucks traveled an average distance of 4.4 miles between their seasonal living areas.

The takeaway: When a mature buck you have on camera in September or October suddenly goes missing for weeks or a month, chances are he’s one of those mobile bucks that has moved a mile or 2 or 3 to another section of his home range. Hang tight because in time there’s a good chance the buck will circle back to where you have your camera set, and where you are hunting.