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Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Deer Camp - Day Six

Critters, Deer Camp, Whitetail Mating Behavior


7:00 PM - Sister and I went out today and fetched the memory cards from the trail cameras.  Whooey!  We uploaded some dandy photos of a large number of deer.  Including some monster bucks - virtually all of them taken after dark.

Male deer mark their territory during the whitetail breeding season.  Think of it like the deer equivalent of giving out a phone number or posting a classified ad on a singles website.

There are glands located on the inside of a deer's hind legs just above the tarsal joint.  Even though this news might offend your delicate sensibilities bucks pee on those glands and paw it into the ground. This is called making a scrape.  There are preorbital glands near the corner of the eyes and deer will deposit scent from these on a branch above their scrape.  This is called a licking branch.

Here is something commonly found this time of year.

When you see a tree scored like the one in the picture above a buck has shaved the bark from the trunk to leave a scent from glands located on their forehead.  This is called a rub.  Whitetail mating rituals Involve all sorts of rubbing, licking, scraping, peeing and general staking-out of one's territory.  Kill a big buck during the rut and he's likely going to stink to high heaven. 

It's all about attracting the ladies.

The following series of photos are of a buck and his harem.  In the third picture he is refreshing his rub.

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Unlike the deer portrayed in tthe classic movie - Bambi - whitetails are exceedingly promiscuous.  Bucks service multiple does and does are don't seem to be bothered by copulating with multiple bucks.  Under good conditions the species is burdensomely prolific.  Under less than ideal conditions the species survives.  Such is how whitetails have evolved. 

11:00 AM - Fresh deer tracks alongside the driveway this morning.  Must have been a nocturnal visitor foraging in the rubbish left in the garden.

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