Great Basin Naturalist


I examined differences by sex and influences of weather on timing and patterns of migration of Rocky Mountain mule deer (Odocoileus h. hemionus) in the eastern Sierra Nevada, California, during 1984–87. Deer initiated spring migration from the winter range at about the same time in all years and made extensive use of holding areas at intermediate elevations. Radio-telemetered deer showed strong fidelity to summer ranges over as many as four years. Fall weather produced different patterns of fall migration. Storms during October produced a pulsed migration, in which most animals migrated to the winter range during or soon after the storm; in a year without a storm, fall migration was gradual. Despite the influence of storms on the pattern of fall migration, the median date of fall migration by females did not vary over years; however, among males it was later in a year without fall storms.