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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
Doe Harvest Dilemma
Bob, I have a doe harvest dilemma. In Alabama, I’m still getting trail camera photos of spotted fawns in mid-October.
 
"CRP" Meaning?
Bob, I keep hearing hunters on television shows say things like, “The deer are coming out of the CRP.” What is CRP?
 
The Case of the Missing Leg
Bob, what do think could have caused this buck to lose part of its hind leg? By the way, it has mostly been seen in an urban setting around our neighborhood, including my back yard.
 
Can Deer Be Picky Eaters?
Bob, I put in a small plot of winter turnips that are growing very well. The trouble is, the deer are not eating it! Why might this be?
 
Late Season Food Plot Planting
Can you recommend something good to plant in my food plots at the beginning of October? I hunt in northern Illinois.
 
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