In fine-tuned deer herds, the majority of breeding will be over by the time December’s recovery period is in full swing. However, on good whitetail range where the herd is healthy and the fawns of the season are large enough, some December breeding will occur.
In my area of western New York, many doe fawns that reach a body weight of 85-90 pounds by November will come into estrus and be bred sometime during December.
Most times, this “second rut” will be much more subdued than the November breeding period, but it can cause a stir, especially if several bucks are in the area. On many occasions, I’ve watched this take place while photographing. The accompany photo is an example. When I took this picture three different bucks aggressively vied for the breeding rights to this doe fawn.
The hunter who positions himself near primary food sources will have a ring side seat to witness “second rut” behavior.