PS 10-119 - Bedding habits of mule deer (Odocoileous hemionus hemionus) on high-elevation summer range

Monday, August 8, 2011
Exhibit Hall 3, Austin Convention Center
Joe D. Lewis, Natural Science, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR

Mule Deer (Odocoileous hemionus hemionus) beds have been studied, in the absence of deer, to document physical and vegetative characteristics.  I monitored solitary bucks in northeast Oregon during August, 2010, to identify established buck beds occupied during immediate (2 hr.) environmental conditions.  We hypothesized bucks parsimoniously selected physical/vegetative characteristics that balanced concealment and physiological requirements.  Air temperature and solar exposure were recorded during time of use; concealment (vegetative) characteristics were quantified with a Robel pole.


Beds selected by solitary bucks exhibited less solar intensity, lower temperatures and similar Robel scores compared to randomly-selected beds. Bucks within groups may/may not show this type of preferential bed selection, and may signify hierarchical group organization before sparing behavior begins.

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