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Comparative Breeding Behavior and Performance of Yearling vs. Prime-Age White-Tailed Bucks
John J. Ozoga and Louis J. Verme
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 49, No. 2 (Apr., 1985), pp. 364-372
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3801533
Page Count: 9
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Breeding behavior and performance of yearling (1.5 years) white-tailed (Odocoileus virginianus) bucks was compared to that of prime-age sires by removal of either buck class in each of two 3-year trials, using a supplementally fed herd in a 252-ha enclosure. Yearling males dispersed from ancestral range coincident with the breeding season, even in the absence of sexual competition from older bucks. Compared to the pre-rut (Sep-Oct) and rut (Nov) behavior of older bucks, yearlings associated in larger mixed groups, interacted more aggressively with both sexes, displayed less courtship behavior, and demonstrated delayed and less scent-marking behavior. Despite differences in age-related rutting behavior, the lack of ritualized performance among yearling sires was not detrimental to doe reproductive success. Complete exploitation of prime-age bucks provided no evidence of short-term deleterious effects on herd productivity.
The Journal of Wildlife Management © 1985 Wiley