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Is it me or what?

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Is it me or what?

Post by Uncle Bob on Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:20 am

I was reading this article in a magazine and the author believes that a deer and I quote

"from secretions on a licking branch it is believed deer can determine a litany of things about the individual that left them, such as sex, age, breeding status and quite possibly their position in the dominance hierarchy"

I believe that if a doe in heat licked a branch a buck will know it when he smells it so I guess sex and breeding status is OK but I'm not sure about the sex. I think he just knows something is ready to breed and if she had antlers he wouldn't care. As far as age and hierarchy please give me a break. I didn't know they could count? I mean this statement makes it sound as if they have an on board computer.




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Re: Is it me or what?

Post by SlowBow on Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:42 pm

No, it's just you.

JK.

I agree, I think a lot of folks give deer more credit than they deserve for smarts and intelligence. I mean, they are smart animals, but I really doubt they can give you a date of birth or social status of an animal from scent left behind. I doubt they leave breeding status on that branch either,thats what estrous scents are for,not interdigital glands, which are more of just an "I was here" type communications.

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Re: Is it me or what?

Post by NanookOdaNorth on Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:15 pm

I agree some people give deer just a little bit too much credit...

I once heard a very respected outdoor writer say that if you put a bowl of beef stew under a deer's nose he could tell you how many carrots were in there...I just laughed!

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Re: Is it me or what?

Post by Northwoodslayer on Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:34 pm

I think that deer are blessed with certain survival/ procreating tools. A whitetail deer's nose is 100,000x's more acute than a dog.

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Re: Is it me or what?

Post by Spauldo on Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:21 pm

Well, I have read this as well Uncle Bob and I think it was in reference to an undisturbed deer population that was able to move and grow in their natural progression. I think the idea was that deer, as natural herd animals, have a certain home range and know the scent of the deer within their herd and home range. Several factors happen to adjust and disrupt deer patterns and therefore, perhaps, the ability to identify other deers 'social status' by scent is not accurate in many situations. High density areas particularly begin to nullify this dynamic. This seemed reasonable enough to me as I found information in two fairly reliable sources. It would be a GREAT question for a deer biologist. Thanks for putting it out there. Knowledge is power:)
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Re: Is it me or what?

Post by Uncle Bob on Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:27 am

I can understand being familiar with herd members scent but I don't think they can count (in order to know the age of another deer you would have to know how to count) and I don't think they know the difference between male and female either simply because during breeding season a buck will mount anything statues, humans, to name a couple. LOL

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Re: Is it me or what?

Post by Spauldo on Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:25 am

Fair enough. A practitioners experience is as much science as the empirical method and the two must balance each other.
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