European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 77–84 | Cite as

Movement pattern of red deer during drive hunts in Sweden

Original Paper


We investigated the movement pattern of GPS-collared red deer (Cervus elaphus) during drive hunts with loose dogs. In 46 flights of hinds (N = 9), the median flight distance was 2.5 km (range 0.4–15.0). In 28 % of the flights, the hind left its home range. Average time before returning to home range was 23 h (range 2–88). Hinds in a less forested site left their home ranges more often, fled longer distances, moved at higher speed, and returned later than hinds in a homogenous forest. Speed of movement increased with number of hunts in the less forested site. In eight flights of stags (N = 4), the median flight distance was 5.1 km (range 2.2–13.3). The start of hunting season seemed to trigger stags’ departure to their wintering areas. Knowledge of reactions to disturbance can aid game management to choose hunting methods and dogs that cause less disturbance but may also be used to deter deer from areas where they damage crops and forest plantations.


Cervus elaphus Deer management Flight behavior Hunting disturbance Landscape structure Spatial use 



We thank Ove Fransson, John Källström, Johan Palmgren, Bengt O. Röken, Håkan Svensson, and Bosse Söderberg for field work, assistance during marking and information about hunts. Johanna Månsson Wikland, Jenny Mattisson, and Henrike Hensel helped with the administration of GPS-collars. We also thank Jenny Mattisson, Henrik Andrén, Marco Festa-Bianchet, and two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments on earlier versions of the manuscript. The study was financed by The Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management, Holmen Skog AB, Ittur AB, Virå Bruk AB, Karl-Erik Önnesjös Stiftelse för Vetenskaplig forskning och Utveckling, Stiftelsen Oscar och Lili Lamms Minne, and Kolmårdens insamlingsstiftelse/Tåby Allmänning.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grimsö Wildlife Research Station, Department of EcologySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesRiddarhyttanSweden

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