Register  | Login
  Search
TOP STORIES
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."

 

rule

Hello Ladies!

QUESTION: We have an abundant supply of whitetails on our Kansas acreage and enjoy their company immensely. As expected, there appear to be far more does than bucks. Allowing for the fact that hunting regulations favor the harvesting of bucks, I can find no data on the likelihood of a doe giving birth to a male vs. female fawns. Is what I am witnessing simply the normal social order in that if an area has too many bucks for the available doe population some bucks migrate elsewhere? Or are more female offspring born than male? - Richard W.

Hello Ladies!

ANSWER: First, what you're witnessing is not unusual. In fact, observations of skewed sex ratios are quite common, and there are several reasons why.

First, most observations occur in the fall, during hunting season, when does and fawns tend to be more viewable.

Second, hunters often fail to distinguish the sex of fawns and consider all antlerless deer to be does (underestimating the sex ratio of this age class by 100 percent).

Third, as you suggested, where most hunting pressure is directed toward bucks, sex ratios can be skewed toward does.

However, the biological maximum sex ratio you can achieve in free-ranging deer is roughly 5:1. Even with no doe harvest, a certain number adult does die each year from old age, vehicle collisions, disease, predators and other natural causes. Meanwhile, the sex ratio of fawns born each year is about 50:50. The sex ratio of a post-hunt population might be more highly skewed, but annual recruitment provides a correcting factor that always brings things back in line.

There have been several studies on whether birth sex ratios might be skewed in very stressed or very healthy populations, but results are conflicting. In either case, the effect would still be minimal.

For the second part of your question, yearling buck dispersal is also a normal phenomenon that occurs regardless of sex or age ratios. However, once a buck reaches age 2, he seldom leaves his home range for more than a day or two.

If does are scarce he might wander more, and more often, to seek them out, but he typically returns home. In populations with lots of available does, a buck is less inclined to wander, although aggressive encounters might limit which bucks get to do most of the breeding.

Click Here To Email Your Questions to "Ask The Biologist."

 

 

 

Recent Questions
How Will Biologists Survey My Property?
How can the biologist determine how many deer are on our place and make accurate determinations when all he does is see the property from the ground and make a short scouting trip?
 
Year-round feeders and small tracts
I hunt on a 10-acre tract. Agricultural fields border two sides and woods border two sides. I'm considering placing a feeder on my tract in hopes of keeping the deer more centralized in my little pa...
 
Plants for clay- and sandy-soiled food plots
I hunt in Monroe County, Alabama, where a majority of the soil consists of clay and sand. In places, there is decent topsoil, but for the most part, this is what we deal with. Our food plots are mo...
 
Effects of Post-Rut Doe Harvest
What effect does harvesting does after the rut have on deer population and buck-to-doe ratio?
 
Curiosity Scents are No Laughing Matter
I'd like your input on a trick I heard about a long time ago and have used on a few occasions. Mix oil of anise with peanut butter and cover a tampon (don't laugh) with the mixture. Hang it from a lo...
 
Page 24 of 30First   Previous   19  20  21  22  23  [24]  25  26  27  28  Next   Last   
Pay Your Bill Online Google+ Buckmasters on Pinterest Follow Us On Instagram! LinkedIn Buckmasters on YouTube Follow Us On Twitter Buckmasters on Facebook!

Become A Buckmasters Nations Fan!