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The 2nd rut and 3rd and 4th and 5th...

Discussion in 'Ohio Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by Lundy43123, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. I've been deer hunting, primarily with a bow, for over 25 years. You tend to get pretty set in your ways, or at least I do, and think you pretty much got it all down. Then something happens like happened to me this muzzleloader season and I'm at a loss to understand or explain it.

    I had always belived that the rut was a short lived occurance that happened in mid November and then again 28 days latter for any unbread does. This what I had always read in the hunting magazines and witnessed while hunting. Being primarily a bowhunter I seldom spent much time hunting after Thanksgiving, I was normally done for the year. Now hunting with a son that doesn't bowhunt and me being just too lazy to put in the effort to bowhunt anymore the majority of my time hunting is now after Thanksgiving with a gun.

    I've always seen some rut activity during gun season in Athens where I hunt and even a little activity during the muzzleoader season but never anything close to what I saw this year.

    The Pennsylvania Game Commission has a great write up on a study that was conducted last year with roadkilled does where ther measured the fetus to determine the time of breeding.

    The results of this study show that breeding actually occurs from September through February. The peak period for adult does is mid-October through mid-December. The peak time for fawns is From December through February. It discusses the sexual maturity of fawns and the timing. It was this fawn activity that I witnessed last week, it was crazy.

    I would encourage anyone interested to visit the PA Game Commission website at

    And read the article "When is the Rut" under the "Hunting and Trapping" Tab

    This is a deer study for PA, but is has to be somewhat applicable to the deer in OH.

    I guess you can teach this old dog new tricks,

  2. Lundy, That study is irrealevant (sp) for Ohio, PA. has an out of wack buck to doe ratio , Ohio has a very good Buck to Doe ratio atleast in the area I hunt. Also PA. Harvest's 80% of the buck population in rifle seaon and OH does not. So there is plenty left after the gun season to breed the unbred doe's during their 2nd or 3rd etstrous cycles. So the majority of breeding will be done far sooner in OH. than in PA. But yes, that was a very interesting study to read. Pike
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2003

  3. Pike,

    I certainly can't disagree with you, because I don't know how it would apply to Ohio for sure, but then neither do you for sure.

    The most interesting part of the writeup to me was the age and weight factor determining the sexual maturity of fawns. This part of the study would be indicitive to either state and buck to doe ratio plays no role it this determination

    The breeding activity that I witnessed last week was the fawns, not the mature does. Which would tend to support your conclusion and also still the conclusion of the referenced write up.

    I would be very interesting to find a similar study for Ohio deer and know for sure how close or different the breeding really is between the two states.

  4. Thanks for the Story Kim..I once had a fellow tell me there was no primary and secondary rut..He said Ohio deer were in rut from October till Febuary:)
  5. Lundy, I am sure for the area I hunt in SE. Ohio. Its very easy to tell If you have Late dropping fawns, For instance in Ohio I did not see 1 fawn withs spots on it, after Oct 5th. In PA. and MD. I seen many fawns after Oct 5th. still with spots. Now Like I said I can only talk about my area maybe your area is different, Did you see any fawns in Oct or Nov. still with spots? Pike
  6. Pike,

    I hunt the Athens area.

    I can't really comment on the fawns with spots late this year because I really didn't spend anytime down there until just before Thanksgiving. I did see some (few)obviously very small fawns (no spots) with thier mothers from Thanksgiving on. Certainly can't say for sure that this was due to late dropping, except the small fawns were all singles, no twins which can be indicitive of first year fawns being breed.

    I have in years past seen fawns with spots (fading)well into early November, but not ever in any large numbers.

    I would still like to see a study done by the ODNR similar to the PA study. Didn't the PA study determine that there were still plenty of bucks in PA to breed the does, the question was as the lack of older quality bucks to perform the breeding. I thought that was thier findings.

    One absolute fact is that I witnessed the breeding activity of some of this years fawns during the primitive season this year. There is no doubt that there will be some late dropping fawns next year in the area that I hunt.
  7. Lundy, I would like to see the ODNR. do a study as well !! Because it would be great to see the results from one of the healthiest. well blalanced herds in the entire continent of North America. You are always going to see breeding activity in the Jan, because of the yearlings comming in to estrous.
    Also, Yes, That was the finding in the study, that even though we harvest 80% of our total buck POP. there was still enough bucks left to get the job done, the problem is it is taking until March to get the job done. Pike
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2003
  8. LUNDY.I hunt all over around Athens.My belief about the rut is there is one peak rut.It is disrupted due to gun season.The deer have to focus on survival.I know for fact that the rut does continue as usual during gun season at night from my own observance,game cams.and auto deer collision.The top of the peak usually occurs about nov.16. and persnally I don't like this time because the deer are really flying.