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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.

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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
Can Buck Fawns Grow Spikes?
Bob, is it possible for a 6-month-old buck fawn to grow spikes? We have a healthy food supply and good genetics, and believe we've seen a buck fawn with 2- to 3-inch spikes.
 
If They Aren't Ticks...
Bob, here in the Deep South, seeing small ticks on the underside of deer while field dressing them is normal.
 
Planting Apple Trees
My question is, are apples a good food source for deer, and if so, how many trees are needed?
 
Deer Behavior In Bad Weather
 Bob, After Hurricane Katrina passed through the Gulf Coast, it lingered in our part of Alabama for several days.
 
Turnips & Clover
Bob, in late spring, I planted turnips along with some Imperial Whitetail Clover. The clover needs to be mowed, but I don't want to harm the turnips. Is this possible?
 
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