White-tailed Deer Activity Graphs

Daily Deer Activity Times & Miles Traveled

The graph below shows the number of miles typically traveled by deer during each hour of the day during the Fall in Georgia. It shows that peak deer movement generally occurs at sunrise and sunset, and that deer travel fewer miles per hour between the hours of 4 and 8 PM than they do between the hours of 4 and 8 AM. This suggests that deer travel farther per hour in the morning, probably because they are in a hurry to get back to the protection of their daytime core areas before it gets too light. The graph also shows that (in this study) deer rarely move more than 5 miles during one night. These peak morning and evening activity times of whitetails are supported by data from other states.


  The above graph shows deer sightings at cameras taken by John Stone in Texas. It also shows that peak deer movement occurs at sunrise and sunset.

Deer Movement and Wind Speed



The graph on the left is from my deer studies in Minnesota, which shows that deer movement decreases as wind speed increases, with minimal movement when wind speeds exceed 15 mph. The data on the right is from John Stone's deer study in Texas. It again shows that deer activity decreased as wind speeds increased, with minimal deer activity once wind speeds exceeded 15 mph. Although it appears that deer movement continued in wind speeds up to 21 mph, there were not enough sightings above 20 mph to accurately determine deer movement.

Deer Activity and Temperatures

Deer are obviously affected by temperatures, and because they live in areas of different temperature ranges, they react differently to high and low temperatures. Generally speaking, deer in the north move less in high temperatures and more in low temperatures; deer in the south move more in high temperatures and less in low temperatures. The graph below shows that deer in Minnesota are more active in lower temperatures than deer in Texas; and that deer in Texas are more active in high temperatures than deer in Minnesota.


Daily Deer Sightings and Moon Phases

This is the graph of 547 deer sightings from 9/1/94 through 2/15/95. During the research, deer were observed along the same route each day. The graph shows that Total Daily Deer Sightings peaked during the full moon phase each month, with the exception of January. Data from White-tailed Deer Activity In Relation To Lunar Factors, T.R. Michels, Trinity Mountain Publishing, 1994.

Monthly Changes in Morning and Evening Deer Sightings



These graphs show: 1. That deer were sighted most frequently within 2 hours of sunrise or sunset. 2. That morning sightings were slightly higher than evening sightings, except in December. 2. That bucks were sighted most frequently within 1 hour of sunrise or sunset. 3. That subdominant-bucks were sighted most frequently in the mornings during October (the pre-rut/scraping phase). 4. That dominant-bucks were sighted most frequently during the evenings, particularly during November (the primary breeding phase). 5. That deer were sighted most frequently during the evenings in December (the rest phase and late breeding phase), when food sources were low/limited, when evening temperatures were regularly higher than morning temperatures, and when cloud cover made deer feel secure moving while moving/feeding up to 3 hours before sunset.

Data from White-tailed Deer Activity In Relation To Fall Meteorological Conditions In Southeastern Minnesota, T.R. Michels, Trinity Mountain Publishing, 1998.


The data, graphs and information on this page is copyrighted property of T.R. Michels/Trinity Mountain Publishing and John Stone. Copying and use of the data, graphs or information, without the written permission of the owner, is expressly forbidden by Federal law.

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 T.R. Michels, Trinity Mountain Outdoors, PO Box 284, Wanamingo, MN 55983
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