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Movement Ecology of Mule Deer

Like many ungulates, mule deer exhibit complex and fascinating movement patterns. Understanding these movement patterns may aid in management and allow for better informed decision making.

Our research focuses on dispersal of mule deer, specifically whether or not mule deer fit into prevailing theories of mammalian dispersal ecology, and identifying the main drivers of mule deer dispersal. We work closely with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and various sportsmen groups to collar mule deer with GPS collars across the state.


Video by the UDWR


Tabitha A. Hughes, Randy T. Larsen, Daniel D. Olson, Kent R. Hersey, Brock R. McMillan. (In preparation), Factors influencing the dispersal of a migratory ungulate.


Hughes, T. A., Larsen, R. T., McMillan, B. L., Van de Verk, M., Thacker, R., Vande Voort, A.(2019, March) Female yearling mule deer dispersal on the South Slope unit. Poster presented at The Utah Chapter of the WIldlife Society Annual Meeting, Springdale, UT.

Hughes, T. A., Larsen, R. T., Hersey, K. R., Olson, D. D., McMillan, B. R. (2020, October).  Dispersal in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus): do males disperse further and at higher rates than females? BYU  Plant and Wildlife Sciences Graduate Conclave, Provo, UT

Hughes, T.A, Larsen, R. T., Hersey, K. R., McMillan, B. R. (2022, February). To Disperse or not Disperse: Factors Influencing a Critical Life-History Event in Mule Deer. BYU Department of Plants and Wildlife Sciences 3 Minute Thesis competition, Provo, Utah

Hughes, T. A., Larsen, R. T., Hersey, K. R., McMillan, B. R. (2022, June). Inbreeding Avoidance or Social Learning? Factors Influencing the Dispersal of a Migratory Ungulate. American Society of Mammalogists Annual Meeting, Tuscon, AZ

Mule Deer Movement Ecology: Text
Mule Deer Movement Ecology: Pro Gallery
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