Monday, November 6, 2017

Sparring bucks - Trail Cam pictures (18 October 2017)

I went out about a week ago and retrieved the memory cards from my trail cameras.  Both cameras are located along busy wildlife trails.  As Fall progresses toward Winter, the animals have become more active in their search for foods.  In the case of White-tailed Deer, they have also become increasingly active with the approach of mating season.  Also known as "the rut", mating season for White-tailed Deer is preceded by a period in which bucks actively seek does and compete with other bucks for mating opportunities.

As I tell students, "Bucks have antlers to fight, with other bucks, over girls."  This always gets a laugh.  Despite all the time I have spent in the woods, I have never seen this in person, but now I have captured it on a trail camera.

This small buck appears to be watching something in the distance...

It's another similar-sized buck.  The two size each other up for a moment...

Once they lock antlers, the goal is to push each other around until one buck decides that the other buck is more powerful and flees.

Most bucks will typically only engage a buck of similar size - a small buck will typically not attempt to fight a much-larger buck, but will submit without conflict.  Even if that occurs, the large buck may chase away smaller bucks in order to preserve his own mating opportunities.  The small bucks above would probably have fled immediately if confronted by the buck shown below.

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