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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
Fleas & Ticks on Deer
Bob, I bowhunt in California where the weather is very hot and dry. The past few seasons, my bowkills have been literally covered with fleas and ticks.
 
Field Judging by Brow Tines
Bob, I asked a well-known outfitter in the Midwest what one good, solid field-judging indicator would be for determining that a buck is most likely mature.
 
Food Plots
I'm surrounded by corn and soybeans, so are food plots even necessary?
 
Antler Growth and Velvet
Bob, I have questions regarding antler growth. I ask because of an August 13, 2013 image caught on my trail cam of a very large adult buck in upstate New York.
 
Are Deer Completely Color-blind?
Are deer completely color-blind? I've always been told they are, but I read comments in the July 29, 2013 Ask the Biologist about deer in the headlights and you mentioned colors.
 
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