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Deer Rut Survey :

Survey of hunter’s opinions on the timing of the white-tailed deer rut in Florida


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is considering possible changes to deer hunting zones and seasons.  Our goal of this project is to better align season dates with the times of peak deer activity associated with the breeding season (the “rut”) and to thereby increase hunter satisfaction.  The FWC would like to know when you think the rut occurs in portions of the state in which you are familiar with deer activity and behavior.  The results of this survey will be published on the web when completed.


What is the “rut”?


The rut generally describes a period in which white-tailed deer are mating.  The breeding season is typically broken up into pre-rut, rut, and post rut periods.  Reproductive activity in deer is stimulated by day length, the physical condition and age of the animal and local environmental conditions (rainfall, temperatures, food availability, etc.).  If a doe is not bred during her first ovulation cycle, she will come into heat again approximately 21 to 30 days later.  Unbred does may cycle several times before their breeding potential comes to an end for the year.


Hunters usually equate the rut to a period of time when bucks are more active during daylight hours and are generally more visible and less cautious.  This makes hunting during the rut of high interest for most hunters.


Nearest Known Address

1. Do you know when the rut occurs in a particular area of Florida? If so, please locate the area of the state that you would like to provide rut information for on the map above and select it with a double click. You can zoom in on the map by clicking on the “+” sign or zoom out by clicking on the “–“ sign. You can move the map around by clicking on the direction arrows. The map style can be changed by clicking on “Satellite” or “Hybrid”. After you have located your area of interest, mark it with a double click and continue on with the survey. You can change your mark simply by double clicking in another location on the map or by clicking and dragging the map marker to another location.

Note: Only one property parcel may be included in the survey. If you would like to provide information on more than one parcel, you will need to complete a separate survey for each location.



2. Indicate what you think is the peak of the rut for the property in question by   selecting the approximate start and end times of the rut.

Peak Start

Peak End

3. Why do you think this is the peak of the rut?
4. How long have you been observing deer movements on this property?