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Bucks- Bachelor Groups?
After the first peak rut, when do bucks get back into bachelor groups again?
I believe it will be when their testosterone levels drop below a certain level and they are accepting of each other again. Although, other factors may play a crucial part in it, like survival mode. So it could be different every year depending on snow depth and available food sources.
Yep, it's about that time of year, and they'll travel together all late winter...
I saw 3 bucks together around Nov 21. All bucks were at least 2 1/2. 1st time I've ever seen that during the rut. I was shocked. Definitely a day I'll remember.
Here in NW NJ I see them staring to be more tolerant of each other by very end of November to early December. They still spar but nothing too heavy or violent. Of course there are secondary ruts that kick in but over 1/2 to 2/3rds the buck population have been thinned out by end of first or second week of December depending on when the 6 day gun season falls. Those 6 days has the biggest impact on deer over any other week of the year for more reasons than I can list.
Yeah, agree they still spar right up until they shed their crown...
The big bucks up here go really solitary after the rut as they recover. They stay high and deep, feeding and resting. I was logging for firewood two days ago 7 miles into a timberland when I caught a big buck staring at me as I limbed a tree. He had lost his horns and sauntered down to some maple tops I had cut and proceeded to feed. Really nice to see that he survived the hunting season. He was a big high country wilderness buck as I was up on a mountain overlooking Aziscoos Lake in Maine, and he came off the softwood knob above me. Our logging will feed him well this winter. He knew he was safe with my saw humming.
My son and I both saw different bucks sparring this past weekend. Ryan watched a small forkhorn push around a button buck. I saw a different forkhorn fight with a 6 point and an 8 point buck. Nothing serious, just a little pushing and shoving.
Screen shot of video... Crazy shed buck wanting to take on the big buck, while pawing...
Bucks will tolerate each other but unbred does and yearlings will come into estrous all the way past February. The competitive edge will still be there.
I think bucks may travel together at different times throughout the year. Seems more common to see younger age class bucks traveling together in the fall and winter than big bucks. But I've seen both.
November 23rd this year, I saw a mature, 5 year old buck traveling with a couple young bucks. They bumped a doe around a little. The older buck postured and scraped and rubbed for at least half an hour, then the younger bucks traveled on, and the big buck followed. They maintained a spacing. None of them would get within 20 feet or so of each other, but they were definitely traveling sorta semi-together. I watched them for quite a little while.
I late season hunt a good food source, and it's not uncommon to see bucks sorta together. The does a lot of time will be coming from the same direction, and then the bucks will show up and share the food source, but they obviously came from a different direction. Pretty common to see the bucks approach at slightly different times from the same area, and then feed together, but maintain a spacing. If they get too close, they start to posture.
I theorize the bucks share bedding for safety concerns, but I also theorize they don't bed as close as does will. I bet they bed anywhere from 20-100 yards apart, but when it's time to get up and feed, they do it sorta together.
Pretty fun to watch
The 3rd rut is kicking off....the doe fawns should be the target of interest.
Yeah, I agree bucks will share each others company throughout much of the year, big ones together, little ones together, or more likely around here mixed, depends on the local population, but during November is a different story, it's fighting time... Around here from late October to the week after Thanksgiving once are statewide gun season comes in, they won't tolerate closeness together... Gun season seems to scramble everything, but after a couple weeks of cool down, they seem to buddy up again and that's what's going on right now around here, but as mentioned, only takes a young hot doe to perk things back up...
They all are individuals with different personalities (so to speak) and some are more buddy, buddy and some a little more crankier not liking others with a couple feet of another regardless of friendship regardless of time of year, it's a dominance thing even though they're bachelored up together for the benefits of security...
Logging today and at lunch time I watched a moose crawl under a log trailer to lick road salt. Had a nice bull feeding on tops in my cut. The forester commented that all the cuts are busy as the moose and deer seem to know the season is over and they are packing it on for January. I had to take this job for a month or so in order to replenish firewood I had stolen from me while in Newfie this past summer. We are allowed to cut up tops for our own use. I cut up a pickup load of dry tops after work. Hard work at 73, but I enjoy it. Bought a big bottle of Bayer Back and Body aspirin.
Walking at our local park yesterday, a big 10 pt was chasing an 8 pt around. Could be the second(or third?) rut coming into play??
They've been in bachelor groups here in Kansas since the 2nd week of Dec. I have even seen the same bucks together all rut but they were vying for one doe.