You’ve probably spotted deer moving in a large herd and wondered how many deer travel in a group? The average range of the number of animals that make up a pack is 3-6. It varies according to season and group gender, but the fact remains that finding a solo deer is unlikely.
If you want to move fast, walk alone, but if you’re going to move far, have a good company. Deer puts this statement into practical use, and nothing but advantages are associated with this formation.
Did you know that packs are separated by gender in most wild species, including the deer whose rules are somewhat lenient? A doe will prefer the company of its feminine counterparts, while the males will also do the same. It is only during the rut that they may break.
This article will touch on a herd’s composition and why it is better than most species travel formations.
Composition of a Deer Herd
On the one hand, we have the feminine herd whose head is the eldest doe in the pack. In this grouping, its fawns will be raised in the company with the leader’s elder female fawns. Having two families is not a sight to easily witness as most groups are family-based. The young ones of the elder siblings are also a part of the herd.
The doe herd is the largest deer herd that most hunters have had the opportunity to see. It ranges with individuals ranging from young fawns barely three months old to fully matured ones. Most of these herds consist of six individuals, not counting the male fawns since they will soon get chased by their mother before the rut.
On the other hand, is the male herd of the deer species whose main parties are bulls. This herd only sees fit in recruiting only members of its gender since they have similar characteristics and behaviors. Since these groupings are not family-based, they tend to be smaller and consist of not more than three bucks. As deer enthusiasts know, bulls are territorial, and the many there are, the higher the chances of a conflict.
Breaking Up of the Herds
Before the rutting season, we see these groups begin to break up. The group led by the doe is first, as the mother chases away the now half-grown bull from its herd. Depending on the chased fawn’s luck, it may find itself in the company of fully matured bulls or form a bachelor herd with its peers. At this period, they get acquainted with nature and learn survival traits before the mating season.
In every bachelor herd, there has to be at least one elder in which the other young ones can grow imitating and learning new tricks. As the mating season approaches, all herds break up as each searches for a partner to copulate. These young bulls find it difficult to find worthy females, and if they do, they are challenged by mature ones who win the challenge with ease.
Why Do Deer Travel in a Group?
Although most may argue that traveling in a group makes you more vulnerable rather than safe, I beg to differ. Moving in large numbers may easily give away your location, exposing you to more danger than you already were. However, the massive body count also means that you have extra eyes to watch on an incoming threat. In my opinion, having someone to watch my back is satisfactory.
In addition, it is no news as to how alert this species is. I doubt that a hunter’s predator can sneak through all those sets of eyes and ears without getting the attention of one individual. Its eyes are strategically positioned beside its head, giving it a 310-degree field of view. So do not think that when it bends down to eat, it cannot get a visual of you; it sure can.
In case of any issue, they have a security measure in place, and each individual is aware of it. Immediately after confirming an incoming threat, the deer will inform its companions either by a sharp scream or a foot stomp. The whole group will then disperse at lightning speeds in every direction leaving behind a confused threat on which deer to attack. The herd will then recollect at another point, but it is not a must that they do.
Hunters in warm climate regions may have never heard of yarding in the deer community. It is common in cold areas and is when several individuals gather at a single location to battle the low temperatures collectively. These concluded animals might sum up to more than two herds living together as a single unit.
Were it not for such adaptations, the deer family would not have survived this long in icy regions. Other adaptations include growing extra fur on their coats.
Among the species that enjoy migrating, deer are among the few that travel great distances. If you do not credit it to their travel formation, I do not know what else deserves the credit. In my opinion, their large masses, when traveling, aids a lot in the success of their journeys.
The deer is among the most traveled species because it is found in vast regions of the world. In most areas where they populate, they migrated by themselves and covered record-breaking distances. I firmly stand my ground and claim that their herd composition is almost perfect for their activities.
Although these herds seem to break during the rut, the swiftness in which they regroup might astonish you. So when you see a large herd of deer, the chances are high that it is a feminine group and vice versa.
The rut is the best time to hunt your deer as they are less alert, and their groups are dismissed. Bucks most especially may be the best target as they are sometimes fighting each other for females, thereby distracting them from approaching danger.