From "A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold



Friday, November 22, 2013

Lock Down Phase Of The Rut


When a majority of the does are receptive to breeding a buck will stay with her for 24-36 hours, until the moment she is ready to mate.  This is actually the breeding phase of the rut, a time when the chasing seems to have ended and the bucks seem to disappear.  Most hunters refer to this as the "lock down" phase of the rut. 

The bucks will seldom leave a doe nearing estrus, usually staying within 10-20 yards of her and chasing off smaller bucks that dare approach.  Because of this, the bucks do not cover much ground during this period and many hunters and deer watchers think they have left the area or been killed.   Smaller bucks may hang around the paired couple hoping to mate if the dominate buck is distracted.

The buck and doe in the following photos was first spotted around 7:15 a.m.  I remained on the property looking for other deer to photograph until just past noon.  When I left the farm they were still in the same field only a short distance from where I first saw them…


On occasion the doe would attempt to cross the field to join a herd of deer several hundred yards distant.  When she did the buck would speed ahead of her and turn her back to the area from which she started.  Because there were larger bucks in the distant herd, I think this buck was keeping her away from them so that he could have an opportunity to breed her…




The next morning, almost exactly 24 hours later, they were still in the field in the same area.  The buck having nothing to do but wait and hope that a larger buck did not come along…



 
When I left the property, later in the day, neither the buck or the doe were anywhere to be seen.  I assume she came into estrus and they retreated to a more private location to continue their activities.
Stay well and stop back soon.





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