The rut in whitetail deer has some equally confusing terminology associated with it.
There is a lot of talk about second and even third ruts but what does it mean? Many hunters believe that cold fronts actually trigger the rut and it does so by putting the bucks “in the mood” so to speak.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) a doe may be attractive to bucks for about five days, but may be willing to breed for a period of only 24 hours. If the doe is not bred during her first cycle, she will generally come into heat again about 28 days later.”
“In areas where there are few bucks, a doe may not encounter a buck when she is first receptive and may not be bred until one of her later cycles. A hunter, landowner or biologist who sees the late breeding activity may be convinced that there was a late rut. On the other hand, those who see does attended by bucks in the early part of the season believe there was an early rut. This helps explain the wide variety of opinions on the timing of the rut during a particular year.”
In other words does will keep going into estrus every 28 days until they are bred and on top of that buck/doe ratio can be a factor.
If there are say eight does to one buck chances are those bucks will not breed all of the does in the area and the chances of another estrus cycle for does comes into play.
To put it in plain speak, the rut is sort of like human social interaction. The guys are sort of always ready, while the girls are choosier on the time they wish to engage in..well…you know what we are saying.
Picture a college dorm full of boys when a beautiful co-ed walks in flirting with them. Fights would ensue. That is sort of what the rut is like in the wild world of whitetail deer.