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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.

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Spot On:

Spot On

They say a leopard can’t change its spots, but whitetail fawns definitely outgrow them. We know the spots help fawns blend in as a form of camouflage, but do they have any other significance? This week’s Ask the Biologist question takes a look.

QUESTION: I have been reading “The Yearling” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. The writer says several times that the pattern of a fawn’s spots is an indicator of a whitetail’s sex, spots being aligned for males and more random for females. Is that truth or myth? — Nicky

ANSWER: Like the book itself, the concept that you can tell the sex of a fawn by its spots is pure fiction. Without handling them, it is difficult to tell the sex of fawns, but it becomes easier as they get older. The top of a buck fawn’s head will appear slightly more flattened, while that of a doe appears more round. Of course, you need to have several deer present to recognize the difference. You also need to take into account variations in individual deer, which is why it’s not a very reliable indicator.

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Recent Questions
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Bob, I live and hunt in southern Mississippi and have a small food plot with rye grass and a corn feeder in a natural opening that is about 20 yards long and 10 yards wide.
 
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Bob, I live in Boonville, MO and would to know when the rut in my area will occur, or what environmental conditions must exist to trigger the rut?
 
You Can't Stockpile Deer
Bob, I recently shot a large buck that had an unusual puffy swelling between its antlers. The skin was very loose in this area of about two inches. Was this from fighting, or possibly a virus?
 
The Rarest Deer Ever?
Bob, have you ever seen a deer like this?  This buck had silver hair and lemon-yellow eyes.
 
How Soon is Too Soon
Bob, after I shoot a deer, how long should I wait before returning to hunt in the same spot?
 
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