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sticknstring

Breeding

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Well it was definitely lock down in my neck of the woods over the weekend. I had the opportunity to watch two different bucks breed does. A first-time occurrence for me! Saturday afternoon I was halfway to my stand when I spotted two heads sticking out of the grass 30 yds ahead, less than a foot apart. A small buck and a doe. Surprisingly, they just laid there waiting out my next move. I decided to nock an arrow... halfway through, their senses returned and they ran 40 yds. I had crouched down and when they looked back they couldn't see me. The buck started to lick the doe's rear end then proceeded to mount and breed her. I suppose it lasted 7-8 seconds... not long. Then the pair just slowly walked off in the direction of my tree stand. I exited and hunted a different stand but didn't see anything. The following morning after my hunt I was driving home and a 1/2 mile away I spotted 2 deer in the cattails on park land. Turned around and pulled out the binocs and sure enough, a dandy 8 pt with a doe. I watched the pair for a few minutes and after some goring, he finally mounted her. Didn't last as long as the evening before so I don't know if he got the job done so-to-speak but it was fun to watch nonetheless. Too bad I didn't have my video cam. These encounters ignited a few questions. I always assumed a doe was in heat for around 48 hours and entertained the possibility of this being the same doe. Will she let multiple bucks breed her during that time or only one sire? I found it strange to have a hot doe in the woods and only one buck around... usually this is when the best hunting occurs.

Lets get a post started on whitetail breeding. Facts only. What have you seen first-hand over the years. Has anyone shot a doe during the estrus cycle and preserved "parts" to use as an attractant to hunt bucks. I know the pheromones supposedly only last a day or two at best but I've always been curious. Lets hear some stories!

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I've seen multiple bucks chasing a hot doe, but never kicked up or seen more than one buck bedded with a hot doe.

I've heard that a doe will be in estrous from 48-72 hours and a buck will likely not leave her during that time frame.

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During that 2-3 day window, how many times will a doe be bred? And by how many different bucks? Take one 3 1/2 year old buck from your average hunting ground across MN... average sex ratios, average topography, etc. How many does will he breed through the course of the rut? Obviously many factors go into this but ballpark ... 2, 5, 10? If I had to make a guess from all my personal observations over the years... I'd say 2-3. Obviously a mature buck will have more breeding rights than a fork. Interesting stuff!

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I suppose it lasted 7-8 seconds... not long.

... and I get told that I am too fast. But on the serious side, never seen deer breed, but I thought that bucks will sire as many as possible, but the doe will only breed with one. I suppose nature and hormones being what it is, that if the doe does not get pregnant, she would go back into estrus and mate again.

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Yo sticknstring- Friday night watched a 6 pointer chase and grunt on a doeheads trail for at least an hour, they'd go off then come back through and he was all over her, she seemed like she was going to let him do his business. In my area most of the breeding must occur after dark because of pressure by us and them going more nocturnal. I used to hunt a swamp alone and would see multiple bucks and all day long rutting action, not every day but some days were incredible, now that my least favorite uncle traded away 400 acres of the hunting land and there are now 14 new deer stands, I rarely see after opening day a buck chasing a doe, if it's not in the first hour or last hour of the day, it's not at all. I see in my truck headlights some bucks chasing does in the night. Sticknstring-I think the breeding depends on a lot of factors-my area is extremely pressured by hunting, bow,rifle,musket. Some of the pressured bucks I think go into a survival mode first, breeder 2nd. The younger bucks don't seem to care as much as a mature buck, a mature buck survives life as a fawn first, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 etc. They are very aware of their surroundings. I think the big boys breed less but maybe they just do more of it at night, I don't think in my area the big boys travel as far away from there home area because they know where they are safe and need to be back to it before the orange army stomps through again. 15 years ago I saw and think the bigger boys were traveling way more because there wasn't a bow or rifle stand on every 15 acres and you'd see them at noon in the middle of a field or just at odd times. Now, the dairy farms have been replaced by deer hunters and bow hunting has boomed and so the pressure begins 55 days before rifle season. All I am saying is just for my experiences in the area in MN where I hunt. This years standing corn crop really affected things I believe as well. Finally, they are breeding mainly at night, by daybreak they need to beat the hunters back to their safe bedding ground for the day.

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Yo Musky Buck - Thanks for your observations. I fully understand that whitetails are aware of their surroundings and a mature buck would first have to survive as a fawn. Hopefully you and your uncle can re-kindle your friendship.

Any other opinions or first-hand accounts on the subject? I guess I'll have to start doing some research and find some answers.

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