Herds of deer, buck, and most antlered species are scattered across the wilderness.
But do they move?
Do they locomote around the forest or stay in their designated spaces and areas?
Deer are known to be timid personalities, but they are swift at movement through the shrubbery. Therefore, predicting these movements is crucial for hunting a big game among hunters.
Beginners would find it best to learn to deduce the herds’ actions through the forest to maximize their chances of success. A capable hunter will find the deer-trudged path and set up their shot accordingly.
Thankfully for hunters, deer follow the same route almost every day. Here is a short take on how deer move through the wilderness.
How Do Deer Choose Their Path?
Deer need the same essentials that most animals need, and thus they look for places that will provide ample food, water, and a comfortable place to rest.
Early in their lives, most bucks will leave their place of origin and migrate to another location. These younglings will then set up a home range for themselves, spanning approximately 600-1000 acres.
These young deer will thus satisfy all their needs in their new location for some time in their lives.
Once they set up a home range, deer will only move around for nutrition, shelter, or mating needs. They may try to find all of these in their home range.
However, deer prefer to go beyond the boundaries in cases where they fail to see these things near. Such movements depend entirely on the personality of the deer or the herd’s decision.
When the deer seek food and shelter in the same places for years but they may try to break the rut by moving outside the home range in the dreams of finding better food and cozy, safe shelter.
Lastly, deer are a pretty lazy species. These creatures are sluggish in their approach to food and shelter. You will rarely find deer sneaking through the ravines and creeks to hide from predators or skillfully navigating harsh weather.
Deer like to scale distances in straight lines. As a result, if you find a herd of deer moving in the same direction, you can bet that they are either headed towards a place for food or a place to spend the night.
They tend to move in the mornings and late afternoons. Therefore, sunrise and sunsets are the best chance to catch these creatures in transit.
This time is when deer are out looking for water and always choose the shortest path available to get to their immediate needs.
Why Do Deer Keep Traveling The Same Path?
Herds of deer, usually guided by the oldest bucks, are known to follow the same trails for a long time, sometimes even years.
Many hunters and animal profilers have since concluded that deer are creatures of habit.
They are known to observe and choose paths carefully in the beginning. After trusting a pathway, deer may not leave it for years.
Once the deer have inculcated a habit of passing through a specific trail, they will not abandon it even if it has been proven a little risky at times.
Sometimes, generations of deer will feed on the same gardens or orchards because those places have been proven safe by the herd for many years.
Deer have also adapted to staying and traveling in the wild. They have learned to avoid hunters and places that could be potential hunting grounds.
Bucks follow tactics like walking into the wind, which is rarely seen and followed by other animal species. They have gradually taught themselves this technique after being attacked from the rear many times.
Moreover, walking into the wind increases their ability to sense smells and sounds, preventing them from walking toward a predator.
Therefore, deer will keep following the same path for years because they are sure of the security it provides.
What Can Make Deer Change Their Path?
As we have already discussed, deer are not precisely the bravest animals in the wild. They are known to be on the timid side of the spectrum.
Consequently, the species prefers to stay on trails and paths that they have used for a long time. Deer are good navigators, thanks to their sharp sense of smell.
Therefore, they know their way around the woods. So, what can potentially make deer change their path?
Why would anyone change their daily route, we ask. The reasons are pretty apparent and straightforward. The path that we take daily might not exist tomorrow, especially in a forest.
Secondly, we might learn that the route is not safe for travel. And lastly, we might find a shortcut to our destination. Deer follow the same ideals.
They will change their path if they find a better, more comfortable, and less arduous shortcut leading them to their food or shelter.
A simple method to steer the deer away from their usual route is to alter the habitat. If the deer encounter a giant tree that has fallen in the middle of the trail, the herd will find an alternate path.
Carving a new pathway to the destination, ideal for your hunting needs, is a pretty simple plan that one can execute efficiently. Similarly, preparing a food trail can also help hunters gain the attention of a herd.
However, if you plan to alter the geology to entice the deer, you need to be careful.
Firstly, it is paramount that individuals follow the basic rules and avoid breaking environmental laws and regulations. Secondly, deer are smart.
If you create an alternate trail that seems too good to be true, the deer might not choose to traverse it, and they would suspect some foul play at the trail’s end and avoid that artificial route.
What Time Do Herds Of Deer Travel?
Deer commonly travel at dawn and dusk. They venture out from their shelters and safe zones to seek food and water at daybreak.
Typically, their routine involves going to the nearest water body in the morning and returning to their shelters for a siesta.
Therefore, you may find that the most common and result-worthy time to hunt deer is during sunrise, i.e., during the 9-11 AM window.
After resting throughout the day, the deer move out again at dusk to seek food for the night. The jungle is very dramatic at sunset because almost every species converges at the nearest water body.
Deer are known to move in herds at both dawn and dusk. However, they are known to travel shorter distances in the evenings.
Deer also change their travel patterns according to the weather. If they suspect a storm is coming ahead, the herd will try to eat more food before the storm hits.
They would also try to find shelter and bedding in densely covered forest areas. These creatures are also known to take similar precautions in the winter when daylight exists for shorter times, and the temperatures go down drastically.
Every hunter’s rule of thumb goes, “think like the target.” So, if you think like a deer, you will track and hunt the biggest game of your life.
Most herds of deer are likely to travel the same path they used the previous day. Since their routine trail has taken multiple years to make, deer prevent changing their routes very quickly.
Daily trails and routes are a safety net for deer, and they will only move away from an everyday path in dire circumstances.
Generally, you can find deer looking for food or bedding in their safe zones. They follow a timetable governed by their needs for nutrition and shelter. Therefore, many herds spend decades following the same old trails.
Deer hunting is no layperson’s game. A beginner should observe deer develop the skill of hunting. And the best way to hone hunting skills is to deduce the movement of your prey cleverly.
It pays to know where your target will be at a specific time of the day. Additionally, hunters are at a distinct advantage when predicting the herd’s movements.
An even more significant benefit is when hunters can govern their movement. Practicing all these skills is quintessential for a hunter to spend hours and hours under the sun amid the wildlife.