The Rut Tracker 2012: Breeding Behavior Still Underway

Interesting study on the habits of whitetail as they go through the rut…

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Outdoor Life

The “biological rut” has been on now for the past few weeks. Bucks are actively breeding does and hunters are experiencing some great action. They are also experiencing some pretty boring sits.

That’s the way it is with the biological rut, it can be the best of times one day and the worst of times the next. The trick is to gut it out and stay with the hunt. A quiet day or two does not mean the rut is over. Your chances for a good buck are good, during this time but not if you are sitting in camp. This past week while in the field, we witnessed dozens of breeding related behaviors including: a marked decrease in mature does visiting food plots; numerous fawns hanging out together or alone; young bucks working food plots hard and alternating their behavior from feeding to chasing (testosterone driven); older bucks showing up occasionally on social gathering areas intent on finding receptive does; and serious, “estrus driven” chases.

These are the rut markers we typically associate with the “biological rut.” Cameras are showing plenty of markers as well. They include a good deal of tending behavior by older aged bucks and also plenty of chases on film (open mouths and blurred running shots). Unquestionably, there is plenty of breeding going on as you read this. By the end of next weekend, roughly 80 percent of mature does across most of whitetail country will be bred, so there is plenty of rut related hunting left.

Dominant bucks breed only 3 does or so per season, so they spend a good deal of time looking. Plenty of breeding will be occurring over the next few days…

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