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Ask The Biologist

What’s a Noob To Do?Bob Humphrey is the Biology & Deer Behavior field editor for Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine and holds similar titles with other major hunting publications.

He currently lives in Maine with his wife and two children. For more information about Bob, visit his website at www.bobhumphrey.com.

Click here to email your questions to "Ask the Biologist."

 

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What A Difference A Day Makes

QUESTION: Is it true a white-tailed deer is only in heat for a brief 24 hours? — Linda C.

What A Difference A Day Makes

ANSWER: In most cases that’s fairly accurate. In order to conceive, a doe must be ready, willing and able.  Heat or estrus is the brief period when a doe is ready to accept the advances of her male suitors and willing to “stand” and allow them to breed her.

This behavior is influenced by hormones, which also trigger ovulation, the period when a doe is physiologically able to conceive. Hormone levels begin rising several days prior to ovulation.

During this time a doe might smell ready to her suitors, and as ovulation draws closer she might even stand briefly, but conception will not take place until she ovulates.  The peak release of hormones, and often a doe’s willingness to breed, typically lasts only about a day — 24 hours.

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Recent Questions
Growths On Deer
Bob, I've emailed this photo to see if you might know what's growing on the poor doe. I took the photo while out driving in Potter County, Pennsylvania.
 
Does Engine Noise Spook Deer?
Bob, we have all sorts of vehicles traveling our club's road systems. This includes pick-up trucks, ATVs and SUVs traveling from the bunkhouse to our stand areas.
 
Food Plots & Planted Pines
Bob, I'm at wits end! I live and hunt in Louisiana on a nice lease. I took a 12-pointer my first year on this lease officially measured by a local BTR scorer at 159 2/8-inches, so we have good gene...
 
What Sex is this Deer?
Bob, I found this photo on my trail camera. Is this a doe with a penis or a buck with no antlers? - Joseph C.
 
Why Do Deer Stomp?
I've noticed sometimes when I spook deer they snort and run off. Other times they stare in my directions and stomp their hooves. Why do they stomp like that?
 
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