White-tailed Deer and Rutting Season
What causes the white tail deer to enter into the rut?
What causes the white tail deer to exit out of the rut?
The breeding season for deer takes place in the late fall [exact timing
varies by latitude], however, the preparation of the animals for the
rutting season begins in the summer. The sex hormones are slowly increased
over the preceding months and explains such things as the antler
development in males and the preparation of the female reproductive track
to maturate. The photoperiodism [amount of daylight] of the seasons
probably governs this process and it most definitely biological, meaning
The hormone levels build up to a peak and at this time the female produces
pheromones that attack the males; this will result in matings. The males
are ready before this time, but are stimulated by these chemicals. After
mating, the pheromone secretions stop and it is all over.
The reason is clear. Nature provides the deer birthing to take place in
late May or early June [varies by latitude] whereby adequate food and cover
is available to assure survival of the fawns.
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Update: June 2012