In the Field: Searching for Deer Sign

by Anna Mitterling, Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator, MUCC
My husband and I just moved into a new house this past weekend, on a modest 12 acre plot of land. The parcel is 6 acres long, 2 acres wide, and covers a few different habitat types. To the east is another 12 acre plot of grasses, to the south is about 80 acres of forest, and to the west, shrubby brush and swamp. The property itself is ridden with deer paths, browse, and the occasional pellet pile.
Below are some pictures illustrating my findings of deer sign. My trusty companion is my lab/terrier mutt  Lucy, lovingly called "Goose." She has had some training following deer trails, and is just about as fascinated with deer as I am.
These are some pictures that provide an overview of the property. Most of the parcel has a lot of shrubby brush and a few trees.

I think this may have been a scrape:
Below are some rubs I found. I was rather surprised, but I didn't find very many.

This property is just full of deer trails. When I first walked the property this past winter, the trails were over a foot and a half wide! There is still a lot of activity. Check out some of the trials I came across.

Lots of deer browse, but not too a severe level in most areas. There are some deer paths that are pretty well "edged," but there isn't a browse line. However, in the evergreen forest there is minimal regeneration.

And finally, a few fresh tracks, as well as a bit of deer hair stuck on the side of a hawthorne thorn!

Goose and I had a great time exploring and looking for deer sign. It's a great time of year to get out on your property and get a feel for the deer activity on your land.

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