A mature whitetail buck’s drive for dominance never ends. There is no question that a buck’s aggressiveness peaks in November in the North. However, when the rut ends fighting does not. It has been my experience that during December and early January just as many injuries and broken antlers occur as in November.
A case in point can be illustrated with the accompanying photo I took around the first of the year. Both of these bucks are mature and because they shared the same home range it was only a matter of time before they tried to settle the issue of who would be the dominant buck. In the end the buck on the left was more vocal and aggressive, which caused the buck on the right to back down.
During my 20+ years of raising whitetails for behavioral study I’ve seen many buck fights take place long after the rut was over. Though most lasted less than a minute several went on for over five minutes. When a fight lasts longer than five minutes at this time of year the end result is not good because the exhaustion that overcomes a buck can be devastating.
Get The Book
Hunting season is right around the corner, and if you’re like us and starting to think about it every day then Strategies for Whitetails is worth a read. From Charles Alsheimer, host of “Deer & Deer Hunting TV” and northern field editor for Deer & Deer Hunting magazine, comes a powerful and practical guide for understanding and hunting whitetail deer.
- Rutting behavior; the intriguing courtship between fawns and bucks, and the tale of the whitetail’s growth and unmatched survival behavior
- Maximizing hunting opportunities during phases of the whitetail rut; exploring today’s hot topic — quality deer management and the role it plays in hunting
- Friendships, culture, and community that is a foundational element in hunting, including Charles’ own personal story; along with advice on capturing the whitetail hunting experience on film
This book explores whitetail hunting in its entirety, with breathtaking photos that practically transport you to the woods. Treat yourself or your favorite hunter to the one must-have hunting book of the year.