deer biology

What’s the Deal With Bucks Shedding Antlers Early?

If you’ve noticed that some bucks seem to be casting their antlers early this year, you’re not wrong. “The overall health of the buck affects when it casts its antlers,” said Dr. Grant Woods, a deer biologist and host of the popular Growing Deer series (Growingdeer.com). “Factors like prolonged cold temperatures or an injury...

Antlered Doe? The Odds are Highly Unlikely

How common are antlered does in the whitetail society? Unlikely. Yet, we hear of reports each year during gun season where hunters shoot large-bodied, antlered deer that are reported as females. In the scientific sense, these deer are not does but rather weird genetic freaks. As reported numerous times in Deer & Deer Hunting,...

Whitetail Nation: Are Deer Numbers in Decline?

The morning after deer season closed several men gathered around church before the Sunday service began. Carl inquired of Bill, who always gets a nice buck. “How’d you do this season, Bill?” “Don’t ask. I never saw an antler during gun season, much less any does, and in archery season only saw a few...

Famous Halloween Snowstorm: Remarkable Consequences for Deer

Not all early winters are disastrous for whitetails, but the 1991 Halloween snowstorm that swept northern Wisconsin set the state for one of those severe winters that produced unpredictable consequences. The storm blanketed the region with nearly 30 inches of snow three weeks before the state’s traditional rifle deer season opened. Another 18 inches...

Reclusive Bucks: Whitetails Easily Adapt to Man, Development

The almost full-grown button buck fawn clumsily picked its way through the thick brush directly behind its mom. Sometimes they would get separated, more common now that the fawn was rather independent, but a bleat from the fawn allowed the doe to relocate her offspring and they would continue on their daily journey. Once...

Hybridization: A Tail of Whitetails and Mule Deer

Throughout history, crossbreeds have fascinated us. Many of our monsters are a mixture of man and beast (werewolves, Dracula, Moth- man). Likewise, consider our heroes: Spiderman, Batman and Cat Woman. This trend is not a recent Hollywood construction; the “Minotaur” of Greek mythology was a creature that was half man and half bull. Even...

Young Bucks vs. Old Bucks: How They Behave Differently

Most deer hunters agree that older bucks are much smarter than younger males and harder to hunt. Now, that’s been quantified. That was one of the studies revealed at the 2014 Southeast Deer Study Group Meeting, held in February at Athens, Ga., and attended by 296 deer biologists from across the country. Using fine-scale movement data of...

WATCH: Learn to Age Deer with Their Jawbone

One of the most asked questions deer hunters pose to themselves when they see a buck or doe, or ask other hunters at the skinning shed, is common throughout the country. “How old is it?” Determining age in a deer isn’t impossible and is a good part of your management program. Pulling the jawbone...