Will More Mature Bucks Intensify the Rut?
Increasing the number and age of bucks in a deer herd intensifies all aspects of the rut, says Karl Miller, a research biologist at the University of Georgia. Miller says that studies have found that mature males make scrapes and rubs earlier and much more often than yearlings do. In fact, in the Southern states he's found that more equal buck-to-doe ratio condenses the rut into a shorter, more predictable period of time. John J. Ozoga, a retired research biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, says, "We found that mature bucks make more than four times as many scrapes as yearling bucks do. Yearling bucks, however, are much more likely to chase and harass does. Older bucks find more discreet ways to scent-check does to see if they are in estrus so that they don't waste energy pursuing does that are not ready to breed."