These relentless bucks capture the attention of onlookers during the rut.
Witnessing a buck-sparring match can be exciting. If you happen upon one, it’s definitely worth a watch. Here’s a prime example of bucks fighting for seniority.
Wayne Wilson of Old Orchard Beach captured video of two bucks sparring in Scarborough earlier this week.Peak breeding time for deer, or the rut as it is more commonly known to hunters, generally begins the third week of November in Maine. Since female deer only come into heat for a short period of time, generally 24-36 hours, bucks will compete for that doe by sparring.These sparring sessions are generally short, and often the object of their affections, the doe is watching. Once the dominant buck chases the lesser buck away, the buck will stay with that doe until she is ready to breed. Oftentimes, bucks will spar with several males before getting the opportunity to breed.Research by MDIFW department biologists shows that the peak breeding time for deer in Maine occurs between November 17th and the 23rd. This was determined through research on female deer that were killed in car collisions, and measuring the size of their yet unborn fawns.By determining the size and length of the fawns, you can determine their age, and then you can count back and accurately determine when breeding occurred. Using the knowledge that a doe’s gestation period is approximately 200 days, and during the breeding season, a doe will stay in heat for approximately 24-36 hours, biologists are able to get a pretty accurate idea of when the rut occurs.Bucks are less wary during the rut, and will be on the move chasing does throughout the day. They may be challenged by another buck at anytime, like we see here.
Posted by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife on Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Bucks, such as the ones shown in the video, will spar for breeding rights.
Typically, does are nearby observing the dominant buck. The rut generally occurs in the first couple weeks of November. According to the Facebook post by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, the peak rut takes place Nov. 17-23.
Similarly, it’s not uncommon for bucks to stick or gouge each other in the face or abdomen during these intense encounters.
Does will normally only stay in heat for 24-36 hours. This is when most of the does are bred. However, if they aren’t bred during that time period, they’ll come back into estrus approximately 28 days later. This period is sometimes deemed the “second rut” by hunters.
The department is able to conclude this by analyzing data from fetuses collected from does killed in vehicle collisions. They can determine the age of the fetus by taking measurements.
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