The rut , derived from the Latin rugire meaning "to roar" , is the mating season of mammals which includes ruminant animals such as deer , sheep , camels , goats , pronghorns , bison , giraffes and antelopes but extends to others such as skunks and elephants. The rut is characterized in males by an increase in testosterone, exaggerated sexual dimorphisms and increased aggression and interest in females. During the rut known as the rutting period and in domestic sheep management as tupping , males often rub their antlers or horns on trees or shrubs, fight with each other, wallow in mud or dust, self-anoint and herd estrus females together. These displays make the male conspicuous and aids in mate selection. The rut in many species is triggered by shorter daylengths.
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Scent plays a strong role in the mating behavior of many animals. Deer rut is their mating season, usually occurring in mid to late autumn. Deer rely heavily on scent for communication, especially during mating season. deer, mature male elk, productivity, recruitment, sex ratios. Post-harvest young: adult female ratios for mule deer and elk are believed to be directly related to.
The mule deer Odocoileus hemionus is a deer indigenous to western North America ; it is named for its ears, which are large like those of the mule. The several subspecies include the black-tailed deer. Unlike the related white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus , mule deer are generally more associated with the land west of the Missouri River , and more specifically with the Rocky Mountain region of North America.
Spatial separation of the sexes occurred throughout the dry portion of the year May—October , but was most pronounced during and immediately following the fawning period June—August. Bucks occurred most frequently on dry meadows during sexual segregation, and does and fawns primarily in moister meadows. Bucks occurred farther from summer sources of water than did other sex and age classes of deer. Sexual segregation was not attributable to food habits or selection of vegetative types. However, the percent cover of Sisymbrium altissimum , a preferred food, was higher and in earlier phenological stages on ranges occupied primarily by does than in meadows where bucks predominated. The proportion does and fawns comprised of all deer in eight meadow systems was correlated positively with overall population density; an inverse relationship existed between the proportion of bucks and deer density.