Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

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headgear
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Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby headgear » Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:51 pm

A post in another thread reminded me of an encounter I had last fall. I have read here and other places that mature does will often seek out a mature buck to breed, I think I finally got to experience that this year.

I was on my way to hunt a doe bedding area, as I got closer I cut a nice sized buck track. He was heading away from the stand I was going to but I figured he could be in the imediate area so I hunted it anyway. Well a few hours later I spot 3 deer moving pretty fast through the brush, I can only see flashes of them here and there but I know the first one is a doe and the other deer are keeping their heads to the ground. I was pretty excited hopeing to see a decent buck but as it turns out all 3 were does and they had their noses to the ground trailing the buck track I cut in the morning. As soon as they hit my tracks they froze for about 15 minutes, then got after their buck again.

I should also note that these does came from the bucks bedding area, another hunter in our group spotted them not long before they ran into me so they knew right where to look and when they didn't find him they stayed on his trail.

Anyone else have any similar experiences?


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Re: Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby Wrinkleneck » Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:24 pm

Heard of it but never seen it happen.
My neighbor shot a mature buck that he knew where his primarary bed was last year real close to the rut. A few days after he shot the buck, he was out in the woods near the bucks old bed when he looked over at it to see 2 does laying there like they were waiting for that buck to show up. This is not the first time I heard of this, but didn't really believe it until my neighbor who is 70 years old told me this is real common for does to seek out a mature buck like that. Very interesting to me as it only makes finding a mature bucks bed that much more important to me.
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Re: Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby Tadmdad » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:59 am

It does happen......but not that often, wouldn't read to much into it.

It might be more prevealant in areas with low deer densities than high density areas. In the northern woods that we hunt, there may be large areas that is devoid of deer, but will have particular travel corridors moving through a area.
Most if not all the deer will use those corridors, wheter buck or doe. And it would by appearance seem like they are following one another. But in reality, it's probably that they are traveling to a preferred food source, avoiding predators or moving around obstacles, like beaver ponds.

I would guess that in areas with higher deer density, that it would be much more common having multiple bucks of breeding age, that these bucks would have a easier time locating estrous does by scent checking common feeding areas, like ag fields and foodplots and doe bedding areas, and the does wouldn't have to seek out a buck.

Most of the time in the northern woods we hunt with low deer density, it's fairly easy to locate family groups of does, and they will be in pockets around preffered food sources and bedding areas. And the bucks know where they are located. Being we hunt close too,or in the rut (rather than early season), as the seeking/chasing phase of the rut comes on, most of our setups are around those doe bedding areas. Perimeter setups that we can catch daylight movement of the bucks seeking or chasing estrous does. And it's very common at that point for the bucks to be bedded with the does in those areas, when the does are in estrous. But I think it's more the 2.5/3.5 yo bucks that show most of this activity and are the most active during daylight.

But IMO that once a buck reaches 4.5 yo, he becomes a different animal altogether. Their daylight movement is minimal and they don't participate in rutting activity during daylight, but cover huge amount of ground under the cover of darkness. They may have multiple core areas within a given range,
the tough part is patterning those movements, and pretyy much guessing where he might be at a given time under certain conditions as they cycle through a area.

But back on topic..... I can think of 2 bucks I've killed in recent years, and 1 a buddy killed (posted earlier) that were killed by a doe seeking out a particular buck. All 3 bucks were similiar in the respect that the bucks that were being hunted were in a core area, and during midday that a doe appeared, that was in estrous, and within minutes that doe had brought the buck out of cover and began chasing. Is it that a mature doe seeks out a particular buck to be bred, or that she has been bred in years past by that particular buck...... I really don't know.

But it does happen......but you have to be out there during that time.......never seen this happen from camp. :D
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Re: Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby dan » Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:41 am

I can't recall seeing a doe tracking a buck... But I have seen them camp out in a buck bedding area or right next to a scrape. I have even seen does work the scrape and then camp out next to it.
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Re: Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby magicman54494 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:26 am

I personally don't believe that a doe seeks out a specific buck. Too many things go against this idea.

1. many twin fawns have different fathers. I believe I read as many as 25%.
2. bucks wouldn't fight and establish a pecking order if this were true.
3. why would bucks travel in search of does if this were true?
4. A friend witnessed 2 big bucks fighting for a doe while a spike buck slipped in and bred her.
5. there would be many more unbred does because they would all be waiting for that one buck to breed them.
6. there would be a yearly migration of all the does to the mature bucks bedroom.
7. what would happen if does chose their mate and a bigger buck came along and chased off her mate? If does picked their mates then she wouldn't get bred.
That being said, I do believe that does WILL seek out a buck if she is ready to breed and not attended by a buck.
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Re: Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby Stuart » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:02 am

That is weird and I have never heard of that but it sounds like it happens and things such as these you really don't read in a magazine and that is what the BEAST is all about :D
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Re: Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby dan » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:04 am

Interesting poimt Magic... The way I see it, the ones that seek out a buck are looking for the areas dominant buck that they knows terrfitory well... Can't say there is any way to know if the doe always seeks the same buck. I kind of doubt that too.
I can say I have seen evidence that some mature does seek out the buck soime of the time.
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Re: Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby Tadmdad » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:50 am

Some good points Magic...makes sense

The couple of times it has happened. All I can say for sure is that I was setup on a particular buck, and at midday a estrous doe appeared, and within minutes a buck was chasing that doe. Was it the doe was seeking that particular buck? or had that doe been bred in the past by that buck?
I really don't know the answer......But I probably wouldn't have seen those bucks without a doe bringing them out of cover.

But this probably happens more in areas with low deer density, than in areas with high deer density. Does it happen...Yes....but probably not that often.

I'll use a anology.....When I was a young man, much of my time and $ was used seeking out willing phillies....as I got older, it became much easier to spot the willing ones....and I let them come to me. Did it happen that often....unfortunately not (not that good looking). But as in deer hunting.... I was never one to look a gift horse in the mouth. :mrgreen:
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Re: Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby magicman54494 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:47 am

Tadmdad wrote:Some good points Magic...makes sense

The couple of times it has happened. All I can say for sure is that I was setup on a particular buck, and at midday a estrous doe appeared, and within minutes a buck was chasing that doe. Was it the doe was seeking that particular buck? or had that doe been bred in the past by that buck?
I really don't know the answer......But I probably wouldn't have seen those bucks without a doe bringing them out of cover.

But this probably happens more in areas with low deer density, than in areas with high deer density. Does it happen...Yes....but probably not that often.

I'll use a anology.....When I was a young man, much of my time and $ was used seeking out willing phillies....as I got older, it became much easier to spot the willing ones....and I let them come to me. Did it happen that often....unfortunately not (not that good looking). But as in deer hunting.... I was never one to look a gift horse in the mouth. :mrgreen:


Just as mature bucks act differently from young ones (does too) I'm sure they take a different approach to the rut. From tracking many mature bucks I'm convinced that they are very active in seeking out does. They do tend to keep their movement to nighttime. I wouldn't doubt that mature does know whats going on as well and act differently then young does. Young does kinda freak out thier first time and will run and run and run when bucks start to chase them. Experienced does tend to lead the buck to thick cover and circle around without leaving the area. Dan had a thread earlier titled "words a trophy hunter doesn't use" or something like that. Always and never are high on that list. I used to try to explain away things that didn't fit the mold but now I pay close attention because everything happens for a reason regardless of how weird it appears at first. When talking about this or any topic I think it's important to remember that there is another class of buck that isn't mentioned too often. The mature buck that is past prime or older but not the alpha buck in the area. I'm sure they approach the rut much different, less active and more cautious.
Anyway, after all this rambling, I guess I'm trying to say that age classes have tendancies but nothing is set in stone.
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Re: Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby dan » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:25 am

I would have to agree with most of thart Magic.
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Re: Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby headgear » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:35 am

magicman54494 wrote:I personally don't believe that a doe seeks out a specific buck. Too many things go against this idea.

1. many twin fawns have different fathers. I believe I read as many as 25%.
2. bucks wouldn't fight and establish a pecking order if this were true.
3. why would bucks travel in search of does if this were true?
4. A friend witnessed 2 big bucks fighting for a doe while a spike buck slipped in and bred her.
5. there would be many more unbred does because they would all be waiting for that one buck to breed them.
6. there would be a yearly migration of all the does to the mature bucks bedroom.
7. what would happen if does chose their mate and a bigger buck came along and chased off her mate? If does picked their mates then she wouldn't get bred.
That being said, I do believe that does WILL seek out a buck if she is ready to breed and not attended by a buck.



Just a quick note to Tad, the area I saw this would be the definition of northern bigwoods with low deer densities.

Magic you bring up some very good points, however I didn't mean to say does will seek out bucks all the time, but like your last sentence pointed out, just when conditions are right for it. In my area I often see 2 or more mature does kick their fawns away and group up during the rut. With low deer numbers I think this might be their most effective way to breed. Maybe they wait for a buck to find them some years, maybe they have multiple bucks fighting over them other years, maybe they have to go seek out a mature buck if those first options aren't available. It could be different from area to area or year to year but I see it as part of the ebb and flow of the rut.
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Re: Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby Uncle Lou » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:09 am

I'll bump this one.

Tadmad pointed me to this one in a thread bumped by dan on buck bedding scrapes. I asked if does seek bucks.

I am not believing the general consensus that this doesn't happen that much. There are far too many ways for animals to proliferate for this not to be happening, and I bet there are some hunters that have patterned this tactic. Yes, Magic made some good points.
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Re: Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby headgear » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:47 pm

Good bump Lou, got me thinking about this again. I mentioned something to Dan in another thread a while back that I was seeing some pretty good rut action late Oct in buck bedding areas. He said that can and does happen when hunting bedding areas. I have to think that maybe some of the does that come into heat early know where to find the mature bucks and could seek them out. It might be as simple as a buck is alwasy on the lookout for a hot doe and the doe will look for a buck when the time is right and no other buck is present.
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Re: Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby Stanley » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:29 pm

In my experience I have never seen a doe seeking out a buck. It would almost be impossible in most cases, because the younger bucks start pushing the does long before they are ripe. When the doe finally becomes ripe, she could be pushed 2 miles away by the younger bucks. Bucks are always ready to breed long before the does are. There is also a pecking order going on, it is not uncommon for multiple bucks to breed the same doe. I have observed this many times over the years. Not saying does don't look for bucks to breed, just saying it would be rare if it did happen.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: Does Seeking Bucks to Breed

Unread postby headgear » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:21 am

It's probably very area specific Stan. I hunt public bigwoods with low deer numbers and even more important low buck numbers so the rut is probably far different then what you see.

This will probably sound crazy but up here it is extremely rare to see multiple bucks chasing a doe, I have only seen it 2-3 times in 20+ years of hunting. Most of the time you will have a doe or two come by with a fork horn in tow, you'd think eventually another buck would follow up but I have spent many hours waiting for that to happen and most of the time I end up disappointed.


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