Editors Blog

Bucks Are Wary Loners, Need Their Own Space

Bucks hang out together at some times of the year but research shows that big bucks tend to be loners and want their own space.

Bucks hang out together at some times of the year but research shows that big bucks tend to be loners and want their own space.

Scientific studies have shown that space is a critical component of a mature white-tailed buck’s habitat requirements. In other words, having a home isn’t enough; he needs to have his own room.

Even more interesting, bucks and does have been shown to keep to themselves within their home ranges, even when these ranges overlap.

In the world of deer research, this is known as spatial segregation. According to one study, conducted in Michigan by research biologists Dale R. McCullough, David Hirth and Stephen Newhouse, adult bucks and does only share about 56 percent of the available habitat throughout the year. The study also showed that bucks favor wooded cover throughout the year, while does spend a good portion of their time in open terrain (grasslands, etc).

For the quality deer management practitioner, such revelations help emphasize the need not only to designate refuge areas, but also to think in terms of creating thick bedding cover during habitat improvement efforts.

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