A recent study finds that elk herds know almost down to the day when hunting season opens, and where they need to go to hide out until the season is over. The study, published in the Journal of Wildlife Management, tracked the movements and patterns of 445 elk that were captured along Utah’s Wasatch range and fitted with GPS-tracking collars. The collars provided researchers coordinate information every 13 hours during the study period between 2015 and 2017. Major finding: Elk reduced their use of public lands by 30% in rifle season, moving quickly to nearby posted private lands where hunter pressure was lighter, or non-existent. "It's crazy, on the opening day of the hunt, they move (off public land), and on [...]
Last season, a group of hunters was celebrating the harvest of a nice 8-point in Sumter County, but they were in for a surprise when the deer was hoisted up on the skinning rack. “Boys, this is a doe,” said the fellow that shot it. The deer weighed a stout 175 pounds and had 8 scorable points on its rack, including two kickers on the base of one antler. The lucky hunter said the deer was not chasing a doe but walking behind it. The doe urinated and this deer lip-curled just like a buck would. Chris Cook, Alabama’s Deer Program Coordinator, said the 8-point was what wildlife biologists call a “pseudohermaphrodite.” “A deer like this with hardened antlers will [...]
How rare is a whitetail doe like the one in this picture? According to the Virginia Division of Wildlife Resources, there are two types of antlered does. The first are females with velvet-covered antlers. These animals usually have normal female reproductive tracts and are capable of bearing fawns. On the other hand, does with polished antlers are actually male pseudo-hermaphrodites. They have the external genitalia of a female, but have male sex organs internally. Antlered does are extremely rare. How uncommon? Some scientists say that one in every 5,000 does might have antlers For more on does with antlers, click here.
Most all scientific studies conducted during the past 30 years have documented predation, largely by coyotes, as the leading cause of whitetail fawn mortality. But wait a sec. “Predation may have less of an impact than we think,” writes Justin Dion in this article posted to the National Deer Association’s website. In the springs of 2016 and 2017, Dion and his fellow researchers at the University of Delaware captured and collared 109 newborn fawns in Sussex County in the southern portion of the state. The study area had about 50 deer per square mile, but a noticeable lack of predators. No confirmed sightings of bobcats and no bears. Only 9 coyotes had ever been reported harvested statewide in Delaware at [...]
A sample recently collected from a hunter harvested deer in west-central Lauderdale County has been confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). This is the first case of CWD detected in Alabama’s deer herd. CWD was first detected in west Tennessee and Mississippi in 2018 and has been moving slowly toward Alabama. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) implemented multiple proactive regulations to combat the spread into Alabama. Compliance from the public, notably hunters, helped delay the spread into the state for several years. The sample from the CWD-positive deer was submitted as part of the state’s ongoing CWD surveillance and volunteer testing program. Due to CWD detection in Lauderdale County, ADCNR has enacted a new regulation [...]