Charles Ruth, deer-project leader for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, said logging or other timber-management activities will interrupt deer activity and patterns on a tract of land, but in a nutshell, it doesn’t run all the deer off.
“This notion of greener pastures outside of their home range… that’s giving deer a little more reasoning ability than they have,” said Ruth. “Deer know their home range, and unless you flatten it with concrete or something equally drastic, they’re going to adjust within that home range and possibly expand their home range a little bit to accommodate their needs.”
Ruth said a whitetail’s needs will actually keep it rooted to an area of logging activity. Ground breaking exposes areas of minerals the animals need, and thinning and removal of timber opens the ground for growth of tender browse that make the land more desirable.
Obviously, deer are not going to stand exposed, out in the open, but they won’t go far into the surrounding woods. It’s just not in the animals’ natures. Well-known for their love of edges and changes in terrain, deer typically will pull back to an area of safe cover and hold tight.
“In the summertime, their home range is minimal,” Ruth said. “That’s when they have their smallest home range, but if you look at the home range for the year, bucks’ are generally larger, and you could typically say 600 to 800 acres for bucks and 300 to 500 acres for does. That’s just a rule of thumb.”