Hunting 101 – understand the ramp to the rut! As whitetail bucks grow antlers and increase bodyweight, antlers are soft and testosterone levels low. As the season changes, so does behavior. With hardened antlers, testosterone levels rise and steadily increase until does are ready to breed, entering the peak of their estrous cycle. This triggers bucks to run wild seeking does to breed with reckless behavior focused only on mating and rutting behavior: lip curl, snort wheeze, grunt.
Once the does are bred and the scent of estrous is gone, bucks shed their antlers and testosterone levels drop. The cycle begins again, ramping up to the rut.
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