Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Demarais, Stephen

Committee Member

Street, Garrett M.

Committee Member

Strickland, Bronson K.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Human activity affects white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) movement and habitat selection during all times of the year, but knowledge is limited regarding how human risk affects white-tailed deer during the summer and winter. During spring and summer, variation in patch selection varied. Natural vegetation was selected for early in the year, with anthropogenic forages being important for deer use during the summer. During the winter, deer responded to different levels of risk. As hunter risk increased on the landscape, deer altered selection of the landscape. Deer avoided areas that were heavily used by hunters, using areas containing less hunter risk. Use of land cover classifications varied temporally, with cover selected for during the day and forage selected for at night. I have demonstrated that deer respond to human activity on the landscape, by selecting for anthropogenic foraging sources during the spring and summer and avoiding patches that contain risk.



white-tailed deer||habitat selection||home range||summer||risk||hunting season||step-selection function