Survey of hunter’s opinions on the
timing of the white-tailed deer rut in 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”?
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.
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.