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Abstract

We radio-tracked 27 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) weekly for one year on Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, to investigate their seasonal home ranges and movements between hunted areas and refuges on this military base. This work resulted in2,123 separate radiolocations, of which 85% (1,799) were suitable for use in home range analyses. We used the McPAAL computer package to estimate home range using the Harmonic Mean and minimum convex polygon (MCP) methods. Harmonic mean estimates were based on 95% contour lines. Home range size differed between the sexes and methods. Male home ranges were larger than those of females (t= 3.32, P<0.01; harmonic mean) (t=2.07, P<0.05; MCP). Average home range sizes for males and females based on the harmonic mean method were estimated to be 483 ha and 181 ha, respectively, whereas home range estimates for males and females using the MCP method were 636 ha and 289 ha, respectively. The average home range size for all deer was 259 ha (harmonic mean) and 379 ha (MCP). We found no evidence that females restricted their home ranges during the fawning period. However, females' home ranges expanded during the breeding season, perhaps to find mates. Few deer moved to refuge areas that were off-limits to hunters during the hunting season.

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