Evaluating the spatial ecology of white-tailed deer during the rifle hunting season in south central Nebraska
A knowledge gap currently exists in our understanding of deer movements and resource selection prior to, during, and post rifle season in Nebraska. This information will be critical to land managers and biologists interested in improving deer management in highly fragmented agricultural landscapes.
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[00:00:01.950]Hi, my name is Kaitlyn Dozler,
[00:00:03.810]and today I'm going to be
presenting on my UCare project,
[00:00:07.890]evaluating the spacial ecology of white
tail deer during the rifle hunting
[00:00:12.300]season in South central, Nebraska.
[00:00:15.090]I was advised on this project by
Dr. Andrew, little of UNL and Dr.
[00:00:19.560]Dustin Wrangler of UNK.
[00:00:25.130]So let's start the hunt into my research
project. We have all been there.
[00:00:29.660]You're getting ready for rifle season,
and you've done everything right.
[00:00:33.290]And you have your trophy
buck in your sights.
[00:00:36.080]Then rifle season comes along and your
trophy buck along with every other deer
[00:00:40.940]seems to vanish into thin air.
[00:00:43.100]And as soon as the sun sets on closing
day out of the trees walks your trophy
[00:00:47.390]buck almost as if he knew exactly
when it was safe to show himself.
[00:00:51.950]So a lot of people ask the question,
[00:00:53.900]can a deer actually tell when it's
deer season and adjust its home range
[00:00:58.040]accordingly? Well, let's
see if we can find out.
[00:01:04.160]Knowledge gap currently exists in our
understanding of deer movements and
[00:01:08.120]resource selection prior to during
and post rifle season in Nebraska,
[00:01:13.250]this information will be critical to land
managers and biologists interested in
[00:01:17.570]improving deer management in highly
fragmented agricultural landscapes.
[00:01:22.520]So my study looks to answer
three main questions.
[00:01:26.930]Does the rifle season affect a deer,
[00:01:29.000]spatial ecology and a fragmented
[00:01:33.800]How do deer utilize the fragmented
landscape nine days prior,
[00:01:37.460]nine days during and nine
days post rifle season?
[00:01:41.510]How different are the movements of
deer nocturnally and die urgently
[00:01:46.370]during this timeframe? So let's
look at my data collection.
[00:01:52.880]The data I used for my research was
previously collected through Dr.
[00:01:56.720]Dustin rain Glock's lab at the
university of Nebraska at Carney.
[00:02:00.830]My focus with this data was on a herd of
deer located South of Carney, Nebraska.
[00:02:06.020]The GPS locations were marked
once every hour per deer.
[00:02:10.490]So that way I could track their movements
across the landscape and eventually
[00:02:14.420]turn them into spatial data points.
[00:02:19.880]My study is focused around
the 2018 and 2019 rifle
[00:02:24.560]hunting season. I broke each
year up into three main seasons.
[00:02:29.510]So I could track the deer's movements
prior, during and post season.
[00:02:34.640]Each season consisted of nine days,
the same timeframe as rifle season,
[00:02:39.680]season one being the nine days
prior to deer season, season two,
[00:02:43.520]being the nine days of deer
season and season three,
[00:02:46.640]being the nine days post deer season,
[00:02:49.160]all of them for my study
design and season structure,
[00:02:51.980]I really wanted to break it up
into no risk and risk categories.
[00:02:56.090]So if we look at season one prior
to rifle, the deer are at no risk.
[00:03:01.390]They will be acting the same way.
[00:03:02.920]They have naturally been
acting in traveling throughout
the course of the rest
[00:03:06.940]of PR of the previous parts of the year.
[00:03:11.470]Then we move into season two, which
is the nine days of deer season.
[00:03:15.970]This is when the deer are at the
highest risk of getting harvested.
[00:03:20.770]So this is when their
stress levels increase.
[00:03:22.840]And we suspect that we might see
change in their home ranges or their
[00:03:27.580]daily movements to try and avoid hunters.
[00:03:31.600]Then we move into season three,
which is nine days post deer season.
[00:03:36.190]And while we don't expect to see
as much movement as what we saw in
[00:03:41.110]season one or season two,
[00:03:42.910]we still expect to see some
movement during season three
[00:03:47.590]because the deer we now think are so
scattered because they've been trying to
[00:03:51.940]avoid hunters for the
last nine days they are.
[00:03:54.910]And I must say that this threat
designed was not intended for nocturnal
[00:03:59.470]threats as hunting is
illegal during that time.
[00:04:02.230]So our no risk and risk assessments
are strictly for diurnal use.
[00:04:09.870]We are now going to look at how I
established my mapping of the home
[00:04:14.520]ranges. So to do this,
[00:04:17.910]I used minimum conduct polygons
MCPS describe the extent
[00:04:22.830]of distribution, of locations of animals.
[00:04:26.280]I calculated the MCPS by using
our studio to convert latitude and
[00:04:30.840]longitude readings into
spatial data points,
[00:04:34.170]where I then mapped them using
arc GIS to create my minimum
[00:04:39.270]polygons each dot on
the figure on the left
[00:04:44.040]represents the location
of a deer in the MCP.
[00:04:49.170]What the MCP does is it connects
all of the dots around the outside,
[00:04:54.300]and it helps us get an estimated
home range of the deer.
[00:05:00.450]After I got into my research,
[00:05:01.950]it was decided that it would be a good
idea to separate our home ranges into
[00:05:06.000]diurnal and nocturnal timeframes. This
is because according to web at all,
[00:05:10.500]2010, it was found that deer move
greater distances during the day,
[00:05:15.270]suggesting that we need to evaluate
movements separately as deer
[00:05:20.250]may move more or less
based on the time of day.
[00:05:25.380]So this had an effect on
us later in our study,
[00:05:28.200]as I started mapping the
home ranges of each day.
[00:05:33.930]So we are going to first compare the
diurnal home ranges versus the nocturnal
[00:05:37.950]home ranges sizes of 2018.
[00:05:42.090]Color represents a different season,
[00:05:44.820]and we can see each season is color coded
along with the same color coordination
[00:05:49.470]for its spatial data points,
MCPS are color coded.
[00:05:53.340]So that way we can see the changes
between the deers day and nighttime
[00:05:57.890]movements. According to our home ranges,
[00:06:00.410]we see that the deer have greater
home range size during the day,
[00:06:04.040]thus showing that it is most likely that
this is when the deer are most active.
[00:06:12.700]We see very similar results
in 2019, as we did in 2018,
[00:06:17.500]the deer's overall home
range, home ranges have shift,
[00:06:20.860]which we can assume is from a change
in resource location. But overall,
[00:06:25.510]we still see that their home ranges
during the day are larger than those of
[00:06:31.660]the nose at night.
[00:06:36.730]So for further results, we looked at
our season home range observations.
[00:06:41.470]We use a box and whisker plot
to plot our data by season
[00:06:46.210]mile. Most of our data falls
within our standard error,
[00:06:48.880]besides a few really broad out casters.
[00:06:53.140]And we're currently looking into what
might've caused those deer to move that
[00:06:56.740]far, or if it was like a technical issue
with the color. But as you can see,
[00:07:01.960]the deer traveled less than 500 acres
both day and night combined in each season
[00:07:08.230]which we found to be very odd as
commonly deer move much greater distances
[00:07:12.400]during these timeframes.
[00:07:14.170]So that's something for the research
is going to look into as well,
[00:07:17.530]what might've caused this.
[00:07:21.580]So we are now going to look at
the diurnal home range size.
[00:07:25.600]So this graph is pretty self-explanatory.
[00:07:29.200]We are looking at pre rifle rifle and
post rifle seasons and their home range,
[00:07:33.820]size and acres 2018 and 2019
seem to be very similar in
[00:07:40.420]We see that season two
had the greatest home
[00:07:46.180]which we expected because this is when
we thought the dealer would be moving
[00:07:49.180]around the most to avoid hunters. Now,
[00:07:53.170]if we look at the
nocturnal home range size,
[00:07:57.640]we see quite a bit of difference during
the pre rifle season, we see 2019,
[00:08:02.530]the deer have a much righter
home range size versus 2018,
[00:08:07.450]but then we start to see a slow decline
all the way down to post rifle season
[00:08:11.500]where the home range sizes
are almost the exact same.
[00:08:15.220]We suspect this may be because
during the pre rifle season,
[00:08:18.790]the deer have not yet seen any threats.
[00:08:21.370]So they're going about business
as normal during rifle season,
[00:08:25.270]the threats pop up and
the deer start to react.
[00:08:29.020]So during that post rifle season,
[00:08:31.210]we see that deer in 2019 may
have still been under the same
[00:08:36.790]stress levels that they were rifle season.
[00:08:39.250]And so they decided to bed down rather
than increase their movements again,
[00:08:42.910]to try and still avoid predation. Finally,
[00:08:46.420]we ran a two way repeated measure
of Nova to see if rifle season had a
[00:08:51.220]significant effect on a
deer's home range size.
[00:08:54.730]Our showed us that there was not
a significant what season it was
[00:08:59.670]and the deer's overall movements.
[00:09:02.400]It was also found that there was not a
significant difference between the time
[00:09:06.930]of day and the deer's move overall.
[00:09:10.880]We think this,
[00:09:12.380]it could be because of my choice of
using MCPS to measure home range,
[00:09:17.300]which I have recently found out is not
a prime method of calculating home range
[00:09:21.470]sizes. As I had once thought it
was, if you look back at the slides,
[00:09:25.910]you will see there is some detail that
is causing the home ranges to shift.
[00:09:30.290]And I just need to start looking into
more detail as what that might be as it is
[00:09:34.280]currently unknown at this time,
[00:09:37.310]because previous studies have shown
that there is a correlation between deer
[00:09:40.970]movements and rifle season.
[00:09:42.740]I intend to dig deeper into my dears
movements and see what little details
[00:09:47.510]could be affecting their shifts that I
am currently unaware of because as I'm
[00:09:51.770]wrapping up, we are going to,
[00:09:53.690]to see if we can find answers to
our first three main questions.
[00:09:57.950]Does the rifle season affect a deer
spatially collegey in a fragmented
[00:10:03.560]It was found that there was no statistical
significance that rifle season and
[00:10:07.400]time of day influenced
the deer's home ranges.
[00:10:10.490]How did your utilize the fragmented
landscape nine days prior,
[00:10:13.430]nine days during and nine
days post rifle season,
[00:10:16.430]the deer's home range shows us that they
utilize the landscape similarly in all
[00:10:20.180]seasons and how different
are the movements of the
deers nocturnally and dire.
[00:10:24.650]And only during this timeframe,
[00:10:26.720]the deer's movements were not
significantly affected by time of day.
[00:10:31.040]Now onto my next hunt,
[00:10:33.140]I intend to analyze the deer's rate of
movements and resource selections to see
[00:10:37.160]if I can find any significant connections
to their selected home range areas.
[00:10:41.540]And I will work with Dr. Little and Dr.
[00:10:43.610]Rayne Gluck to compose a
publication of my findings.
[00:10:47.150]Once my research is complete. Finally,
I would just like to acknowledge Dr.
[00:10:52.010]Little and Dr. Raine
Gluck. I would not be,
[00:10:55.280]have been able to complete this project
without them and their constant support
[00:10:59.600]and answering of all of my questions.
[00:11:01.850]So a big thank you to them for
all of their help on this project.
[00:11:05.810]It has really been an honor to
get to do this research with them.
[00:11:08.870]And I'm excited to see what the
future of the hut study holds.
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