Is the Whitetail Rut Happening Now?

Deer in some areas are shedding their velvet while others are already rutting. For real.Whitetail Rut

Are whitetail in parts of Texas rutting right now?

The answer might surprise you according to research from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s “The Rut in Whitetail Deer” study.”

Biologists who designed the study knew there were distinct rutting periods in different parts of the state. They picked 16 study areas which were typical of the different ecological regions.

Check out this info for the Gulf Prairies and Marshes.

“The earliest whitetail breeding in the state occurred in this ecological region. Breeding occurred in the period August 24 to November 25. There were two study areas: the northern study area had a peak date of September 30, while the southern area was a month later with an October 31 peak breeding date. Does showed a 92 percent breeding success and 1.6 fetuses were found on the average for each doe sampled. The majority (90%) of the fawns would have been born by May 10 in the northern area and by June 6 in the southern area.”

That means there are deer in that region rutting right now. Crazy, huh?

Post Oak Rut

In the Post Oak Savannah, the conception dates for does in this region ranged from September 30 to January 16 during the study period. Two study areas were used. The peak breeding dates for the central and southern portions were almost identical. The peak dates were November 10 and 11, respectively. Does showed a 92 percent breeding success and 1.7 fetuses were found on the average for each doe sampled. The study shows the majority (90%) of the fawns are born by June 17 in the central area and by June 26 in the southern area.

The 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.”

Chester Moore, Jr.


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