Understanding the Second Whitetail Deer Rut

To begin with, during the 2nd Rut the main thing that is different is that the bucks are back in their home territory. Following the original Rut, the bucks return home. They’ve been hitting it hard in their pursuit of estrus does — on the go every day and night — beginning back when they discovered their first estrus doe of the year.

whitetail rut in texas

Three big changes take place every annual Whitetail Rut period. Bucks get much more exercise than usual. They get less rest and don’t get as much sleep as they are used to. And they don’t eat as often nor as nutritiously as is normal for them.

They are worn out; dog tired, underfed and needing rest and sleep. So they go home and lay up in one of their familiar, remote, safe places. And concentrate on sleeping and eating.

buck chasing doe

Plus, another thing the bucks usually do when they return to their home area, they go nocturnal.

At that time hunters everywhere begin reporting that the deer have disappeared, It seems like they are gone, but they are not.

Once they return home the bucks’ priorities change; it’s safety first, and it’s days and nights consisting of sleep, eating and regular naps.

Does, meanwhile, are in three different categories; does that have been bred and are returning to what they normally do before they got interested in bucks. And does that were not successfully bred during the rut. Plus now there is an additional category that wasn’t around for the first rut.

Enter the 3rd category of available does, a particular portion of fawns born this year. Specifically, early-born fawns that are now developed enough to go into estrus for their first time.

buck looking

Rest and more food gets the bucks back in shape quickly. And 24 to 28 days after their previous estrus period the does that were not bred have a second go at an estrus phase — and the 2nd Rut begins.

And, drawn into the estrus doe mix, are this year’s early-born fawns, which will have their very first estrus cycle. These first-timer estrus fawns suddenly feel the urge to be on their own — and move away from their matriarchal doe — and wait in areas where they can be seen. And seen they are.

And the 2nd Rut begins.

To be continued…