Hill Country Rut This Week!

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It’s rut time in the Texas Hill Country according to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD).

“Conception dates for this region ranged from as early as October 9 to a late date of January 30. The Edwards Plateau, Texas’ highest deer production region, was divided into three areas for the study. The eastern part had a peak breeding date of November 7. Peak breeding for the central portion was November 24, and the western area had a peak date of December 5.

An average of 90 percent of the does were bred and the average number of fetuses found was 1.3 per doe. The majority of the fawns are born by June 14 in the eastern area, June 26 in the central area, and by July 13 in the western area.

table7The breeding study involved the examination of 2,436 does, the largest number of deer ever utilized in a Texas breeding study.

“The date of conception can be determined by looking at fetus length. An average of 200 days from conception was used to determine fawning dates. Biologists got as much information as they could from the does collected. They looked at the timing of the rut and at breeding success on 16 study areas throughout Texas for three years.”

“All years were combined to produce the graphs that show the rut timing. In most areas the rut varied very little from year to year. You can use the map and graphs to determine the timing of the rut in your area of interest. Will the information help with the planning of your hunt? You be the judge.”

Acknowledgments of TPWD Study: Written in 1996 by Max Traweek, Susan Wardroup, Jay Williams and E.L. Young. Maps and graphs by Max Traweek. Field activities coordinated by Jay Williams and conducted by biologists and technicians of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Wildlife Division, Bob Cook, Director.

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