Deer follow turkey to use them as sentinels so that they remain safe from predators. Deer have poor eyesight and rely on the turkeys much excellent eyesight to warn of predators.
So, whenever you find a turkey is leading the path and a deer follows behind, it is all about taking safety precautions. Also, you can notice that both of them are feeding in the same place in the forest.
Moreover, you can find a deer playing with turkeys sometimes. Deer tend to follow turkey because a strange kind of collaboration works between them. While deer have an amazing sense of smell but poor eyesight, turkeys have great eyesight. This combination can help deer to predict danger from a distance.
As a result, that makes it easier for them to run away from the area to a safe place. When deer follow the turkey and see them running, they become aware of the situation. In short, they know about the danger that’s been lurking around.
Apart from that, deer possess an amazing sense of smell. Hence, whenever a deer breathes, it detects different kinds of smells. Moreover, they can sort them out and this includes human scent as well. Also, this helps the turkey because can’t smell much itself. So, when a deer sense danger and runs away, the turkeys leave the place too.
Do they migrate?
It might surprise you but certain species of deer do migrate. Biologists have concluded that deer in far northern states such as New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota tend to migrate starting from late January to February to different yarding areas.
Moreover, these areas allow thousands of deer to assemble so that they can survive through the winter season. Furthermore, the yarding areas provide woody browse to these animals. Also, it allows them to create separate travel corridors within the yarding area. The corridors have snow paths that allow for smooth travel.
That way, the deer can escape from predators like wolves with ease. Last but not the least, yarding areas provide these mammals with the right environment where they can maintain optimum body temperature or thermoregulate. The areas provide cover and make the environment suitable for several animals to sleep next to each other.
Deer migrations in the north woods are common in recent times. However, deer that belong to agriculturally dedicated regions such as South Minnesota and Dakota didn’t migrate during the winter season. But recent studies show that states like South and North Dakota have witnessed a surge in migration of deer during winter.
Many people think that because Dakotas have plenty of agricultural lands, what makes the deer migrate. However, researches have to be made on this subject to arrive at a concrete conclusion. But one of the popular theories relates to food and cover.
Most of the agricultural lands are plowed the following harvest. As such, it leaves a barren land. Still, the land can provide food that can carry deer through January and February. However, what happens when there is no food left? This is when the animals will need to find green pastures.
Hence, deer in agricultural areas will migrate if they feel a shortage of food resources that will sail them through the winter season. While food is the topmost reason for migration, the importance of cover during this season can’t be ignored either.