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The rut in Texas white-tailed deer

White-tailed Buck
White-tailed Buck

Most Texas hunters will do almost anything to increase their odds for a better hunting season. Many will spend countless hours afield and many others will spend countless dollars on every deer getting gadget imaginable. Others will do both. If you're looking for an educated way to improve your odds and also save you both time and money, follow this link to breeding dates for Texas white-tailed deer.

White-tailed breeding dates, more commonly known as the rut, is the best opportunity to see the most bucks in the shortest amount of time. If you miss the early rut there's always the late rut. What about the early and late ruts? Hunters and outdoor writers often talk about the rut being early or late. In Texas, at least, the breeding season for white-tailed deer is fairly predictable from year to year. Within a specific area, habitat conditions not only affect fawn survival, but can affect the timing of breeding. A doe in poor condition or a young doe may not breed until late in the season. 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.

"Hunter chronology" has a lot to do with the perceived timing of the rut. Traditionally, hunters are more likely to be afield during cool weather. Bucks, like hunters, have a tendency to move around during cool weather. They will usually be out in force with the onset of the first weekend norther during the deer season. Bucks with hardened antlers are ready to breed and are looking for a willing doe. More movement means more opportunity to encounter a receptive doe. When there are many observers spending time in the field it is more likely that breeding activity will be noticed.

Find your area with the link and be sure you schedule some time to hunt your area during the rut. You'll be glad you did.


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