Oct breeding?

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by boone nc, May 29, 2012.

  1. boone nc

    boone nc

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    So I have not lived in MI all of my life but hunted here the last 8 yrs or so but I have never seen/heard of this many early Fawns? I have seen one and just in this thread there are several others.

    I have heard and done a little research today via the net and from what I read a whitetail deers gestation period is somewhere from 200-205 days. That would make most of these fawns conceived from mid to late Oct? Considering how warm it was, does that not seem odd? Granted I have heard the temp does not really have as big of effect on the does cycle but still.

    Maybe its just me but I thought most of the pre stuff came in Oct and the hot and heavy breeding is not till around the 10th of Nov or so?

    Am I way off on this or was it just a strange year?
     
  2. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    It is not unusual to see threads on new born fawns during the month of May. I'm sure if you went back years and searched the forums here you will see these threads pop up every year. Does are bred in Michigan from October to January maybe even February. Michigan does not have a short duration rut like many would like you to believe.
     

  3. fairfax1

    fairfax1 Premium Member

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    I always look for these 'first fawn' threads each year. Sorta like watching for spring robins or tulips. Seems like a bit more reliable sign of a new year beginning.....more so than some shiny ball dropping in Times Square. Or even Super Bowl Sunday.

    From a rather casual and very non-rigorous observation of whitetails for over 50yrs in my neck-of-the-woods...near Grand Rapids.... I've long held the belief that the 'fawn drop' pretty much covers a 3week window. The 10days before Memorial Day and the 10days after....or, I guess, from May 20th to about June 10th.

    Certainly there are earlier births (my own 'earliest' was on May 8th) and there are plenty later ones (I've seen relatively small spotted fawns accompanying their mothers in early November).......but, I would bet the bulk of the drop is in that 3week period.

    We can 'back up' to a theoretical conception date with the accepted "200 day gestation".....but I would submit that that number...200 days....is more a rule of thumb than a biological law. The variability of individuals...as in humans.... seems to suggest that a doe could drop her fawn anywhere from 180 to 200+ days after she was covered by some buck in the fall.

    Then add in those female fawns born in May of the prior year maturing rapidly to experience their estrous in December, or January, maybe later. Hence, I think most of us can see at one time or another fawns much younger than or older than what we routinely expect.

    IMHO
     
  4. QDMAMAN

    QDMAMAN Premium Member

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    The earliest I've witnessed a fawn in my area (Eaton County) was on April 19th. The fawn was running beside the doe in a crp field so it was at least a couple of days old I suspect.
    This would suggest an early to mid September conception date.

    T
     
  5. Liver and Onions

    Liver and Onions

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    I would agree and add that the 2nd main drop period will be from about June 15 to July 10th. These fawns being dropped from the precious years doe/fawns that were bred in late Nov. to mid-Dec. The second rut period. Quite a few fawns dropped at this time in the SLP, not so many in the NLP or UP because the fawns didn't reach sexual maturity in those regions.

    L & O
     
  6. boone nc

    boone nc

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    After I wrote that I thought about the gestation period and thought if deer are anything like humans that time can vary 10 days either way. I would also venture to guess there will be quite a few late drops as I saw and several others saw alot of rut activety late December and even into January. Watch for spots this Oct is all I have to say!

    I know down south where I grew up we regularly see spotted fawns in early to mid bow season!
     
  7. QDMAMAN

    QDMAMAN Premium Member

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    That's because they're a different sub species of whitetail.
     
  8. twodogsphil

    twodogsphil

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    The unusually high number of dead does along the highways this past weekend indicates to me that Fairfax1 is spot-on regarding the peak of the fawning season. [Birthing does secure a territory of 10-20 acres for about a month. Consequently, there is significant temporary dispersal of birthing does, which in high population areas, often can lead to fatal consequences.]
     
  9. bioactive

    bioactive Tornado Jim Premium Member

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    You are right that gestation period can vary somewhat, but the breeding period varies considerably as well, as noted by fairfax. This is especially true in areas with high doe to buck ratios, and poor age structure of bucks, which tends to contract the breeding period. Most biologists think that nature wants most of the fawns to drop at once, so that predation is reduced. Coyotes or wolves only kill what they need, and so can only eat so many--so the shorter the fawn drop the better.

    Here is an image showing the breeding dates in Minnesota, which is probably pretty close to Michigan.
    [​IMG]

    Here's another one from New Brunswick. They run a little later than we do.
    [​IMG]

    The important thing to notice is the wide shape of the bell curve. In Michigan, some very few animals could be bred in early October. However, the peak of breeding is thought to be around mid-November. With about a 200 day gestation period, now is when the bulk of the fawns from November breeding should be falling.

    However, in regions where animals are substantially below physical carrying capacity, a lot of fawns get bred--up to 50% in some areas, and that extends the breeding period well into December and January. It is these late born male fawns that come in June and July that will represent much of the spike population when they grow antlers.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  10. bioactive

    bioactive Tornado Jim Premium Member

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    Another thing that happens is the doe becomes solitary during the first few days of the fawns life. The young of last year are pushed away. I watched this phenomenon last night as a very large doe behind the house repeatedly chased and slapped a young buck away. He was not happy, and kept coming back, but she kept chasing him away. These young deer are running around without surpervision now and are much more likely to get into trouble.

    The doe fawns will always be accepted back once the new fawns can join the family. But many of the young bucks are on their own for good, or hanging as close as they can to the family without getting bitchslapped.
     
  11. boone nc

    boone nc

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    Dude! I have seen it when a momma doe gets ticked at Little Bucks and just beats the fire out of them! Its funny but at the same time you kinda of feel sorry for the little fellars.

    I often wondered why certain times of the year there were more deer ran over than others. I can definetly see why this fawning time is one of them. Why you reckin I see more bucks ran over in late Summer?

    Thanks for all the good info. Those charts were good, i guess we are seeing more of the little humps now and the big drop will come in weeks to come. Like I said before I am just really curius to see the amount of late droppers. People wont be able to keep bait piles fer all the button bucks tearing into them. Lord help them!
     
  12. Ken

    Ken

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    Bucks were actively chasing does last year during the early anterless season. Mature older does will be the first to breed, and some start in late september.
     
  13. bioactive

    bioactive Tornado Jim Premium Member

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    Chasing will occur as soon as young bucks get hard antlers. It does not indicate that much breeding is going on.

    Think Porky's or Porky's Revenge. Lot's of chasing, very little breeding:lol:.