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Deer Movement and Temperature...Data
See site noted below for actual data relating daily temperature and deer movement. This is from the study group at Pennsylvania State University. They have had a good sized deer study project going for several years. Lots of "Real" as in measured information on how the whitetail deer lives its life.
Actually there other similar studies conducted by this same group, (Goole Penn deer research/studies, ie, buck in rut, buck during rifle season movement and after, summer range movements. Other Penn. studies concluded that the breeding period is the same every year and is based on Phototropism,(amount of light entering deer eyes and effecting hormonal changes) and not the moon phase or temperatures. The main seeking period starts at the end of Oct, and really kicks in on Nov 2-15th during the main breeding period. This period can be different as one hunts farther south and north of the study area. As example, the Texas and AZ rut is in late Dec and early January.
They also have developed a good deal of information on fawn survival and associated predation issues.
Paul@thefort is dead on. That study is what blew the various charts and "moonwheels", out of the water. That information or information very similar, goes back at least 30-years. That is why I am always amazed at how many hunters ask, "When will the rut be this year?" Several Universities have similar studies that are usually ongoing. Two that come to mind are Auburn and Texas A&M. And, all that information is available if you know where to look. There is a study, currently being done on mock scrapes-mock rubs and mock licking branches. It will probably be at least, a five-year study and I am very interested to see if that data coincides with mine. The major problem is going to be the tremendous number of variables involved. Nothing is static in that research.
Been taking rut notes many years now and yep, totally concur with Paul's dates year after year near the I70 - I80 corridor... "main seeking period starts at the end of Oct, and really kicks in on Nov 2-15th during the main breeding period."
Have read some of the Penn deer research/studies before, good stuff...
Yeah, pretty conclusive with all the studies that have been conducted. It does get pretty blurry below a certain latitude. Rut periods are all over the map throughout the south. Some of the more recent studies point to stocking efforts as part of the cause but it's obviously not that simple. SC for example never brought in deer from other states and the rut timing varies significantly from the mountains in the NW part of the state to the coast. I didn't realize it was varied that much in NC but it is.
NC released a rut map this year. The data was gathered by state biologist using fetal measurements throughout the state. The sample size is still quite small but it's amazing to see the difference of peak breading times.
Several of the studies I've read point to "lack of a need "as the cause of sporadic breeding in the south. Weather in the northern half of the country all but requires a very specific fawn drop time to ensure survival of the species; not so much in the south. This doesn't mean that deer in a specific area will have different breeding times each year, just that deer in your area may breed at a different time than they do 50 miles away.
I've only had my property in NC one full season but made a significant effort to identify fawn drop times this spring. Using 200 days as an average gestation period, I was only off on my peak rut estimate by 2 days from the state. I'm assuming their method of measuring fetuses is more accurate.
What alters some data is the failure to measure the number 6-mo. and older doe fawns who get bred late in the year or early in the new year. Approx 25% of these does will getbred on thrid or even fourth cycle in area where weather and food source permit. As long as a buck has not cast his antlers, he is capable of breeding any doe that cycles. It is not uncommon to see antlered bucks, here, during the spring turkey season. However, this does not change the peak of the rut, only the fawning dates for some does.
Yeah John, I'll go along with that...