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Whitey & his consorts

Old 11-13-2010, 11:30 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Whitey & his consorts

Let us assume that 10 Bucks and 20 Doe generally live within a 300 acre area. Along comes breeding time for the 20. Buck #1 finds a ripe female (Doe #1) and performs his duty.

Question #1. Does Buck #1 immediately go in search of another mate?

Question #2. Does Doe #1 indicate to other Bucks by action and or odor that she is not available?

Question #3. Suppose Buck #2 happens along and finds Doe #1. Does he enter into a "piggy-back" encounter with her? I have read of a doe giving birth to twins, each of which had been sired from different bucks.

Question #4. Suppose Buck #1 finds Doe #2 being pursued by Buck #4 (junior in age, size, and dominance to Buck #1). I assume Buck #1 and #4 have a "talk" and takes over the task.

Question #5. Buck #1, after breeding Doe #1 and Doe #2, continues on patrol and after several encounters with various Does, stumbles upon Doe #1 again. Let us assume that this took a day or two. Does he re-breed with Doe #1? What tells him that her "dance card" has already been punched.

Question #6. Does Buck #1 keep a harem (similar to elk) and drive away other prospective mates.

I do not speak "Buck-ese" and can not verbally converse with him, but certainly would like to be able to do that. I'm hoping that some biologist, or other person in the know, might be able to shed some light on this.

The reason I ask is to our method of herd management. We own 300+ acres, low fenced, adjoining 2000+ acres of COE land. Therefore, we know there is critter travel between properties. By means of trail cameras we KNOW of 17 bucks and many more does call our 300 acres "home". We KNOW of 3 major, kick-ass brutes that have appeared on several photos. One is a 9 pointer (nicknamed Walter), a 10 pointer (nicknamed Goliath), and a 12 pointer which we have named King Tut. These 3 have been placed on a "NO SHOOT" list, we only shoot 6 and 8 pointers, but are we shooting ourselves in the foot by taking out the semi-dominant. We try to keep the doe situation under control, but do NOT know the exact number of critters the land holds. We assume it to be about 50, so we cull between 5 and 10 every year.

Maybe we should contact the New York DEC and have one of their educated wizards survey the land and tell us how many it will support and what his recommendation would be for culling bucks.

Any comments and/or suggestions ??????
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:42 PM
  #2  
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I'm not an expert, but through lots of reading I think I can at least begin to steer you in the right direction.

Q #1. A buck will sometimes stick around a doe for a short time after breeding with her, but would probably be lured away from her by the scent of another hot doe in the area.

Q #2 & #3. A doe is only accepting of breeding for about 24-48 hours and will often allow multiple bucks to breed with her in this time frame.

Q #4. Not totally sure on this one, but I would assume the more dominant buck would flex his muscles and chase the less dominant buck off, but there's no guarantee the less dominant buck won't hang close by and attempt to breed with the doe later on, as per my response to Q #2 and #3.

Q #5. Doe #1 may have already been bred by buck #1, and if it is indeed a couple days later, she will no longer be receptive to bucks. She may or may not still be exuding estrous scents at this time. In all likelihood, she will still smell "hot" for at least a short time after she comes out of her peak estrus period.

Q #6. I haven't heard of a whitetail buck keeping a harem as you describe. A dominant buck will definitely try to chase off less dominant bucks, but he will not keep a harem of does like a bull elk does.

I hope this helps a little. Like I said, I'm not an expert or a biologist or anything, so if anyone else has some more information on the subject, feel free to chime in. I'd like to see some more opinions on this either affirming or refuting what I've said.


Can I ask why the mature/dominant bucks have been placed on a "no-shoot" list? Is it to make sure they get the chance to breed and pass on their genes? Eventually, as they age, they will no longer be the dominant bucks in the area and may be run ragged during the rut and could even get chased off your property, either by younger more verile bucks or by the other bruisers. 300 acres doesn't seem like all that much for 3 mature bucks. I'm not too familiar with "low-fence" properties, so I'm not sure of the extent to which they are capable of keeping deer in/out.
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