Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

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csoult
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Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby csoult » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:44 am

On Tuesday we will be recording a podcast with the biologists who run the deer forest study for Penn State and the PA Game Commission, you can find the blog for that study here http://ecosystems.psu.edu/research/projects/deer/news?b_start:int=20. It's a cool study and they have been tracking deer for quite some time. I wanted to give you guys a chance to ask questions of the biologists. We will use three of the questions during the podcast. You can post the questions in this thread, you can PM me, or you can get in touch with us on our website. http://theopenairproject.com/


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Re: Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby Boogieman1 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:29 am

A topic I hear a lot these days is on cull bucks. I personally do not understand the logic behind this. If the doe contributes 1/2 the genetics what good does it do to take out a young deer because of the amount of antlers he has, his genes are still in the herd anyway. Is there any science to back up these practices.
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Re: Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby Greg4579 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:07 am

csoult wrote:On Tuesday we will be recording a podcast with the biologists who run the deer forest study for Penn State and the PA Game Commission, you can find the blog for that study here http://ecosystems.psu.edu/research/projects/deer/news?b_start:int=20. It's a cool study and they have been tracking deer for quite some time. I wanted to give you guys a chance to ask questions of the biologists. We will use three of the questions during the podcast. You can post the questions in this thread, you can PM me, or you can get in touch with us on our website. http://theopenairproject.com/

This is really cool. Been following their blog and research for a little over a year now.

Some questions that come to mind:

A recent thread here asked hunters about their closing percentage. Hitting and not recovering an animal is something unfortunately most hunters will deal with at some point. I'd be curious to hear how often they come come across deer whose death can at least partially be blamed on hunter injuries. I know they are quite thorough in their necropsies...maybe a little too much IMHO :D

Another recent thread here talked about whether or not folks would fire or a coyote while deer hunting. They have done quite a bit of research on their who's eating bambi series, and I would be curious on their take on the current state of predator to prey balance in the ecosystem. If you hang around a group of hunters long enough you will hear about how bad coyotes are and that they "take game". My personal belief is that they are not an invasive species, and thus nature has them there for a reason. I guess I am looking for some of the positives to the deer herd (if at all) to having them around.

Finally, I have seen them get some pretty great trail cam shots. I'd ask for any tips or tricks that they use.

No, I don't expect all these to be answered, but I figured I would give you some options.
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Re: Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby thwack16 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:19 am

Boogieman1 wrote:A topic I hear a lot these days is on cull bucks. I personally do not understand the logic behind this. If the doe contributes 1/2 the genetics what good does it do to take out a young deer because of the amount of antlers he has, his genes are still in the herd anyway. Is there any science to back up these practices.

http://extension.msstate.edu/shows/deer-university

Episodes 2 & 3
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Re: Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby rfickes87 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:39 am

csoult wrote:On Tuesday we will be recording a podcast with the biologists who run the deer forest study for Penn State and the PA Game Commission, you can find the blog for that study here http://ecosystems.psu.edu/research/projects/deer/news?b_start:int=20. It's a cool study and they have been tracking deer for quite some time. I wanted to give you guys a chance to ask questions of the biologists. We will use three of the questions during the podcast. You can post the questions in this thread, you can PM me, or you can get in touch with us on our website. http://theopenairproject.com/



This is probably an obvious one that you'll already ask but I always wondered if they have figured out leeward bedding yet? I have watched their YouTube videos and I noticed what we call "bedding" here on the beast they call a "hiding spot" and they'll highlight with a big circle the hiding spot. To me the hiding spot is leeward most of the time but its hard to know for sure from the videos. I've actually tracked the weather for about 5 days on that one buck they were tracking and it always bedded leeward from what I could tell just by using weatherunderground.com.

I'd love for them to start taking the wind each day into effect each time they record the buck's location.
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Re: Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby SMS79 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:16 am

Boogieman1 wrote:A topic I hear a lot these days is on cull bucks. I personally do not understand the logic behind this. If the doe contributes 1/2 the genetics what good does it do to take out a young deer because of the amount of antlers he has, his genes are still in the herd anyway. Is there any science to back up these practices.


To support your point further, I've heard about a buck in captivity at some research lab that was fully mature (5+ yrs old), consistently grew low scoring racks that never got bigger than 130s, and his offspring were giants that you wouldn't expect to come from a "cull" buck. To me, that suggests strongly that you can't look at a buck on the hoof and say definitively what kind of genetics he'll pass along to his offspring. That being said, I am very interested in listening to the MSState podcasts that thwack posted a link to.

Bill Winke wrote an article that shouldn't be too hard to find on Midwest Whitetail's website about "old, ugly bullies". This article presents probably one of the most logical reasons I've ever heard for shooting a buck that many may call a "cull", and it isn't really driven by genetics or at least trying to control the passing along of genes. The thought process is that when hunters are after a high-scoring trophy on highly managed land, the hunters/lang managers are creating optimal habitat that bucks want to stay in, and simultaneously increasing the odds of a buck with lower scoring antlers to make it to maturity simply for having less desirable antlers. In states that only allow 1 buck tag per season also serves to reduce some hunters' willingness to harvest an old, potentially even dominant buck, because his antlers aren't spectacular. So when some of these bucks that have the tendency to be home bodies settle into a core area and exert some dominance, they are going to do what bucks do when the rut rolls around...run off as many subordinate bucks as possible. Hence the "old, ugly bully" connotation. This is problematic from the standpoint of a land manager when the bully begins whipping up on 2 & 3 yr olds that are showing the kind of high-scoring potential that is their goal, and pushing these younger bucks off onto neighboring properties where they have a higher likelihood of being harvested before reaching that potential.
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Re: Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby docwaters » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:07 am

Love the blog, follow it religiously.

Looking forward to the podcast!
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Re: Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby JoeRE » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:48 am

Oh boy, I have thought of many questions while reading their work. Cool that you have them on!

1) First of all congratulate them on a great job, they have assembled more data than anyone ever has before on whitetail behavior.
2) As mentioned already, have they observed a correlation between bedding and leeward slopes and/or travel and leeward slopes.
3) Instead of just looking at moon phase and any correlation with deer movement (they didn't find any) have they ever thought about looking at moon clock position (i.e. 12 oclock = overhead, 6 oclock =underfoot, 9 oclock = moon rise, 3 oclock = moon set)
4) Regarding almost all of the variables they have looked at, they differentiate between bucks and does but usually don't go any further. Have they ever considered breaking out age classes of bucks and comparing behavior. I.E. 2 year olds, 3 year olds, 4 year olds etc.
5) Typically telemetry studies that I have read about only record data points several times a day, at most once an hour. Distances are calculated as a straight line between the points. How are these gaps accounted for in their work? Has there been any thought to increasing the number of events to greatly reduce the unknowns. For instance weather in an area can change in minutes. I know battery life on the GPS collars is an issue, but still I think most telemetry studies are missing a ton of information by spacing out their data readings too far apart.
6) Have they considered looking at deer movement in relation to wind switches. I.E. Wind switches from N to S and what do the deer do as a result?
7) Have they considered looking at deer movement in relation to temperature changes? Do deer change elevation of bedding based on temperature changes?
8) Is there any information about deer behavior directly around the time of year of leaf drop and how it changes - in deciduous forests anyway?

I will stop now :lol:
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Re: Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby headgear » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:00 am

I'd like to know how accurate they feel their population models are and what are the major metrics used to determine the numbers. We all know many states saw the big population boom of the 2000's only to be followed by handing out lots of extra tags and a major population dip in the last 5-10 years. Of course a lot depends on where you live and how severe your winters are. I have heard a few DNR people from MN admit their models were off so I am curious to see what different states say, will they admit mistakes or have they learned from past mistakes.
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Re: Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby Darkknight54 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:46 am

JoeRE wrote:Oh boy, I have thought of many questions while reading their work. Cool that you have them on!

1) First of all congratulate them on a great job, they have assembled more data than anyone ever has before on whitetail behavior.
2) As mentioned already, have they observed a correlation between bedding and leeward slopes and/or travel and leeward slopes.
3) Instead of just looking at moon phase and any correlation with deer movement (they didn't find any) have they ever thought about looking at moon clock position (i.e. 12 oclock = overhead, 6 oclock =underfoot, 9 oclock = moon rise, 3 oclock = moon set)
4) Regarding almost all of the variables they have looked at, they differentiate between bucks and does but usually don't go any further. Have they ever considered breaking out age classes of bucks and comparing behavior. I.E. 2 year olds, 3 year olds, 4 year olds etc.
5) Typically telemetry studies that I have read about only record data points several times a day, at most once an hour. Distances are calculated as a straight line between the points. How are these gaps accounted for in their work? Has there been any thought to increasing the number of events to greatly reduce the unknowns. For instance weather in an area can change in minutes. I know battery life on the GPS collars is an issue, but still I think most telemetry studies are missing a ton of information by spacing out their data readings too far apart.
6) Have they considered looking at deer movement in relation to wind switches. I.E. Wind switches from N to S and what do the deer do as a result?
7) Have they considered looking at deer movement in relation to temperature changes? Do deer change elevation of bedding based on temperature changes?
8) Is there any information about deer behavior directly around the time of year of leaf drop and how it changes - in deciduous forests anyway?

I will stop now :lol:


x2! Also aerial maps w the terrain maps - if possible...
I only had half of this typed out, but took me half the morning at work and you beat me!
One thing that could really come from this is variable wind condition bedding w the older bucks. Im gritting my teeth in excitement to see the different tolerance levels and his rational for doing what he does. Another thing is if these guys are foresters then identifying food or water sources would put alot into perspective. ALSO...Time of day! The J hook would be fun to learn more about from this along w regards to wind when leaving the bed. Im sorry if any of this is already in the study but its been awhile since iv dove into them. I really look forward to the outcome if they take any of this into consideration.
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Re: Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby Darkknight54 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:07 am

Darkknight54 wrote:
JoeRE wrote:Oh boy, I have thought of many questions while reading their work. Cool that you have them on!

1) First of all congratulate them on a great job, they have assembled more data than anyone ever has before on whitetail behavior.
2) As mentioned already, have they observed a correlation between bedding and leeward slopes and/or travel and leeward slopes.
3) Instead of just looking at moon phase and any correlation with deer movement (they didn't find any) have they ever thought about looking at moon clock position (i.e. 12 oclock = overhead, 6 oclock =underfoot, 9 oclock = moon rise, 3 oclock = moon set)
4) Regarding almost all of the variables they have looked at, they differentiate between bucks and does but usually don't go any further. Have they ever considered breaking out age classes of bucks and comparing behavior. I.E. 2 year olds, 3 year olds, 4 year olds etc.
5) Typically telemetry studies that I have read about only record data points several times a day, at most once an hour. Distances are calculated as a straight line between the points. How are these gaps accounted for in their work? Has there been any thought to increasing the number of events to greatly reduce the unknowns. For instance weather in an area can change in minutes. I know battery life on the GPS collars is an issue, but still I think most telemetry studies are missing a ton of information by spacing out their data readings too far apart.
6) Have they considered looking at deer movement in relation to wind switches. I.E. Wind switches from N to S and what do the deer do as a result?
7) Have they considered looking at deer movement in relation to temperature changes? Do deer change elevation of bedding based on temperature changes?
8) Is there any information about deer behavior directly around the time of year of leaf drop and how it changes - in deciduous forests anyway?

I will stop now :lol:


x2! Also aerial maps w the terrain maps - if possible...
I only had half of this typed out, but took me half the morning at work and you beat me!
One thing that could really come from this is variable wind condition bedding w the older bucks. Im gritting my teeth in excitement to see the different tolerance levels and his rational for doing what he does. Another thing is if these guys are foresters then identifying food or water sources would put alot into perspective. ALSO...Time of day! The J hook would be fun to learn more about from this along w regards to wind when leaving the bed. Im sorry if any of this is already in the study but its been awhile since iv dove into them. I really look forward to the outcome if they take any of this into consideration.


The issue I see here is that they want hunters from the area to participate and posting this kind of info makes things pretty obvious. Idk anything about the properties maybe they are draw hunt only w low % chances of a draw or open to the public completely? Its just like that guy said on a podcast about it: "They are telling us where the deer are, lets go get em!" If they did and hunters used the info, then seeing how pressure effects them would be great study results as well. Also, accounting for locations or showing the kill spot of collared deer during their time lapse would be cool!
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Re: Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby woodswalker » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:49 pm

Boogieman, the term cull buck is an abomination that was created by places like the large deer ranches in Texas where they removed deer that they did not believe were contributing to the gene pool of big racked bucks. That term has absolutely no place in hunting wild deer on public land or places where the landowner does not have the ability to decide which bucks live and which deer die. It is an unfortunate tern that has been born out of the TV so called deer hunting expert shows that bear no resemblance to the kind of hunting that the majority of sport deer hunters are involved in. It is a term I find abhorrent.
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Re: Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby burkhart » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:09 pm

If they have the travel data to support beast therios id like to see it. I have no doubt it's true butI would just be neat to see where a buck roam in the different seasons and how
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Re: Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby Darkknight54 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:28 pm

Time of day movement tracking from shedding velvet to hard antler. Early season core areas vs the rest of the season core areas. Someone needs boots on the ground visual look at what a specific buck did the entire season. Walk it and add things up!

Ok ill stop now... :lol:
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Re: Questions For The Deer Forest Study Biologists

Postby Boogieman1 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:33 pm

woodswalker wrote:Boogieman, the term cull buck is an abomination that was created by places like the large deer ranches in Texas where they removed deer that they did not believe were contributing to the gene pool of big racked bucks. That term has absolutely no place in hunting wild deer on public land or places where the landowner does not have the ability to decide which bucks live and which deer die. It is an unfortunate tern that has been born out of the TV so called deer hunting expert shows that bear no resemblance to the kind of hunting that the majority of sport deer hunters are involved in. It is a term I find abhorrent.



I believe it! I don't watch the tv shows, but do know afew gun hunters with garages littered with young basket racks who use the term every year. Suspect they are just trying justify there killing of young bucks and lack of self control. Culling sounds a lot better in their head.
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