Alsheimer: The Whitetail Rut is Ready to Launch

Charles J. Alsheimer on Deer & Deer Hunting

In late October, bucks will analyze the scent of each doe they encounter to determine if she is ready to be bred. (photo copyright Charles J. Alsheimer)

By the last week in October the rut is about to explode for northern whitetails. Scraping and rubbing behavior has increased dramatically from what it was in early October. Also, a buck’s home range is no longer as small as it was in early September and October. In some areas bucks can be expected to cover more than 4,000 acres by late October, especially in locations where deer populations are at or below a range’s carrying capacity.

Charles Alsheimer shares more insights into buck behavior in late October.


On the eve of Halloween does know that bucks are on the prowl, so they make every attempt to stay away from them. Unfortunately their bodies work against them because the pheromones their glands excrete alert bucks to not only their presence, but also whether they are in, or entering estrus.

Whenever a buck encounters a does’ urine he will take a few seconds to smell and inhale the urine’s scent, then raise his head and roll back his nostrils. This allows his nasal glands to analyze whether the doe is in estrus. Though hunters call this behavior lip-curling, its scientific name is Flehmening.

– Charlie

Watch this great example of a buck Flehmening.


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One thought on “Alsheimer: The Whitetail Rut is Ready to Launch

  1. Toddgriz

    Right on the mark Charlie!

    I live in the Western middle part of the Connecticut river valley of Massachusetts, from 11/13-11/21/2013 the rut was full bore, (AWESOME)!!!

    Will a first year doe fawn breed in its first year?

    Keep up the great work!


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