Deer Social Structure

Deer Social Behavior

In regards to the deer species out there, they have a very interesting socials structure. Even though the males don’t stay with the females other than to mate they are in charge out there. The dominant buck gets to decide which range will be his home area and other males have to stay out of there or they will be met with a very angry and aggressive individual that can injure or kill them.

The older a deer is the bigger his rack will become on his head. This is called his antlers and they can tell you just how old a deer is too. Of course there will come a time when a dominant male hits his peak and then his health deteriorates due to old age. His strength will decrease and younger bucks will challenge him.

The social structure for the males allows only the strongest of them to be able to have the right to mate with the females. This is what generally triggers the very aggressive nature among them. They will use their antlers to battle with each other until one of them backs away.

For the females, the social structure among them is more peaceful and friendly. There can be several females in a herd plus their fawns. They will all be in the same general area but may be spread out for protection and for feeding purposes. They use a variety of verbal and non verbal forms of communication among them.

They do take very good care of their young fawns. The mothers often have to leave them for long periods of time when they need to go feed. For the most part the fawns are very obedient and will lie still in the grass where they have been hidden from predators. A fawn that is curious can end up becoming a meal for a variety of different animals out there.

By nature deer are very social animals. The females tend to find a feeling of security among the group. They can get help with finding places to eat and to be alerted to possible dangers in the area. For the males, the older they get the more they like to be on their own.

You will find some young male deer forming bachelor groups. This does help them to be able to find food and shelter easier than being alone. However, their social nature won’t allow that to be the case for too long. When they are fully mature the desire to mate is going to overrule everything else. Therefore they will fight among each other to see who is dominant and that cycle begins and will be carried out until their death which can be many years in the future.

The overall social structure of deer has been studied with many species and across different environments. What is noted is that their social structure can be modified depending on those two factors. There are lots of variables that come into the picture for that structure to be defined.

Deer don’t sleep very much but they do tend to hide and rest during the day. That is why the best time to see them is in the early daylight hours and at night. They do come out at dusk when the temperatures are dropping too. Deer are the most active at night which is why you do need to be careful while driving because they can dart across your path in an instant.

Everything about a deer including its physical size and scent offer clues about the social structure. While it is well defined within these groups, many elements of it still remain a mystery to the common observer.

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