We know deer respond to hunting pressure, but what about wounds?
QUESTION: What are the chances of a deer with a non-fatal gunshot wound returning to the same location it was shot during the same hunting season? – Clarence S.
ANSWER: There are many variables in play, including the type and severity of the wound, the circumstances involved and the sex and age of the deer. At first, it might seek a secluded area while it heals. In the case of a bow wound or a long distance gunshot, where the deer has less ability to associate the injury with a human, it could be more inclined to return eventually.
However, it still might associate danger or injury with that specific location. That’s especially true of older deer. Younger deer, especially females, may be more inclined to return to familiar ground. A young buck, on the other hand, might not return even if it wasn’t wounded since yearling bucks often disperse to new home ranges during hunting season. — Recent Ask the Biologist Question:
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