FAQ: What Is A Whitetail Deer Rut?

What triggers the rut in whitetail deer?

The bow season opened four weeks ago, but deer activity is only now intensifying. It is called the “rut” — the breeding season for whitetail deer. Photoperiod (amount of daylight each day) is what triggers females to come into estrus, and the does dictate rutting activity.

How do you know when a deer is in rut?

Older bucks rub their antlers on trees more often than younger bucks. The closer it gets to rut season, the deeper those rubs will get. They will eventually turn into scrapes. Then, once you stop seeing deer around the scraping areas, that’s the indicator that rut is about to start.

How does deer rut work?

Rutting behavior typically begins around the time that velvet is shed from the antlers (coinciding with decreasing day length and increasing testosterone levels) and ends when antlers are shed (coinciding with declining testosterone levels). Rubs are made as part of deer rutting behavior.

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How long does a whitetail rut last?

In the book, Alsheimer says that the rut lasts 40 days, and the peak of the rut will always begin three days after the “Rutting Moon” and last for about 10 days. The “Rutting Moon” is the second full moon after the autumnal equinox (when the length of day and night is nearly equal).

How many miles will a buck travel during rut?

Some travel far and some don’t travel very far at all. At our Ohio farm, we have plenty of does so the bucks don’t seem to travel as far. Most of them seem to have a home range of a mile or so. During the rut this expands to 2-3 miles it seems.

When should you start rattling for bucks?

“ The two weeks before the peak -the first couple of weeks of November in my area-is almost a sure thing when it comes to attracting bucks through rattling,” he says, noting that while he has had success throughout the season, nothing tops the pre-rut period.

What months are deer most active?

Deer are extremely visible from July to September. Food is plentiful during this time, and white-tailed deer take full advantage of the smorgasbord of nutrients available to them. Velvet-racked bucks and does accompanied by spotted fawns feed regularly on agricultural fields in the evenings.

How do you attract deer during the rut?

An estrous-based scent smells like a doe that’s ready to breed. Bucks cover lots of ground searching for that odor, so use it to your advantage. Dominant-buck scents smell like a mature buck, which can make other bucks aggressively seek a fight. Mock scrapes can also work during the rut by attracting curious bucks.

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What is the rutting moon?

One of the most commonly cited theories, originated by Charles Alsheimer and Wayne Laroche, is known as “The Rutting Moon Theory.” The idea here is that the second full moon after the autumn equinox is what kicks rutting activity into gear. This year the rutting moon falls on October 31.

How many bucks will a doe breed with?

During this time, the buck will breed the doe as many times as she’ll permit, which can range from just a few to 10 or 15 times (or more).

Why am I not seeing any deer during the rut?

It’s understandable not seeing much deer activity during the rut. Bucks don’t need to move much during the peak of the rut. This is when the highest percentage of does are receptive and bucks don’t have to travel far to pair up with a doe. By the post rut most deer have become conditioned to avoiding hunters.

Why do Doe Run from bucks?

A few days before a doe comes into estrus and is ready for breeding, she begins to emit pheromones that alert any buck within smelling distance that it’s time. Bucks will come to that doe and work her, but instead of running away in fear or annoyance, instinct tells her to stick around.

What time of day are most big bucks killed?

Most of them are specifically between 9:00 and 10:00 in the morning to be exact. It’s a proven time, and it could have a lot to do with the common perception among deer hunters that things slow down once early morning is through.

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What time of day do bucks move during the rut?

Like taxes and death, you can count on two things when talking about mature bucks: they move most at dawn and dusk, and during the rut. Deer are crepuscular. It’s built into their DNA.

What time of day are deer most active?

Deer are crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. During these times, the deer’s wide eyes take in plenty of light to see their paths to their favorite food sources, at a point when most predators are struggling to see clearly.

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