US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Mammalogy, 85(3):505–510, 2004.


We used global positioning system (GPS) radiocollars on female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) to document details of onsets of migrations, rates of travel, patterns of travel, durations of migrations, and distances traveled by 8 deer in spring and 4 deer in autumn in northeastern Minnesota in 1998, 1999, and 2001. In spring, deer migrated 23–45 km during 31–356 h, deviating a maximum 1.6–4.0 km perpendicular from a straight line of travel between their seasonal ranges. They migrated a minimum of 2.1–18.6 km/day over 11–56 h during 2–14 periods of travel. Minimum travel during 1-h intervals averaged 1.5 km/h (SD = 0.6, n = 27). Deer paused 1–12 times, averaging 24 h/pause (SD = 29, n = 43, range 19–306 h/pause). Deer migrated similar distances in autumn with comparable rates and patterns of travel. A difference of 1.9- to 7.5-fold in duration of migrations by deer migrating the same distances suggests that much of the variation in durations may be independent of migration distance.