Friday, January 18, 2008


The Whitetail breeding period lasts longer than most people realize. The closer to the peak of the rut you get the bigger and the more bucks you will see interacting with the doe's. The rut starts in mid-November and ends late-November.
The Pre-Rut
There are three periods of the rut. The first is called "the pre-rut". Beginning in late summer or early autumn the blood flow to a buck's soft antlers stop; they then harden or calcify. The white-tail bucks rubs small trees to remove the velvet on his antlers which is now drying up and beginning to shed. A buck is also scent marking trees by rubbing them with the pre-orbital glands located in his forehead, thus marking his home territory. The rubbing of trees is also a means of strengthening a whitetail's neck. This prepares him for upcoming light sparring sessions with other buck's to establish a dominance order to the local deer herd. The dominant bucks are the older males, they are larger and have the best genetic make-up. These are the trophy deer that do most of the breeding. It's natures way of ensuring survival of the fittest and passing on the best genes.

Hunting The Rut

When hunting the rut, sometimes a deer hunter will see a doe travel by their hunting stand, tail out, sort of fanning the air, alert to something behind them. Be alert because a buck may not be far behind; with his neck outstretched and head low to the ground making low grunting sounds, in search of his mate. A buck advertises his presence through numerous sensory signals leaving physical scrapes and signs. He applies scents from various parts of his body signaling other deer of his presence and dominance. Saliva, urine, pre-orbital glands in front of his eyes, forehead glands at the base of his antlers and tarsal glands on the insides of his hind legs all send aromatic messages to other deer.

Buck in the rut

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