Creature Feature

Creature Feature – White-tailed Bucks

Posted by  //  November 7, 2018  //  Articles, Creature Feature

It’s breeding season for white-tailed deer.  This is known as the “rut,” when bucks are furtively seeking receptive does.  Whitetails are polyandrous, meaning they mate with multiple individuals. There’s a lot of competition among bucks for breeding opportunities.  They’ll fiercely fight one another using their antlers in an effort to win the rights to mate with a doe. Rival bucks have been found with their antlers locked together, sometimes with a tragic outcome for one or both animals.  A common behavior that bucks display during the rut is making rubs on trees with their antlers. This leaves their scent behind to alert other deer of their presence. They also make scrapes under trees by disturbing the leaves and dirt, depositing scent from glands on their nose and forehead.  Afterwards, they usually paw the ground and urinate to leave even more scent behind. A buck might even choose a licking branch, to apply more of his unique scent. These areas are like signposts. Once a receptive doe is won, a buck will spend 1-2 days with her before moving on. In this time period, he’ll likely have his strength and endurance tested by rivals.  A buck may lose around 30 percent of his body weight during the stresses of the rutting season.

Article & Photo by Margie Manthey

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