Bleech: A Difference in Buck Behavior

Northeast Rut Reporter Mike Bleech has been hunting whitetails in his native Pennsylvania and throughout the Northeast for more than four decades. A Vietnam veteran and full-time freelance outdoor writer, Bleech has had more than 5000 of his articles published. States covered: ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA OH, MD, DE.

Dan Stimmell, who lives in northwest Pennsylvania within a few miles of the New York border, finished off his deer season in fine style.

Coincidentally, he has been my friend longer than anyone else. (Here's how long, and how the world has changed: Stimmel once brought a .22 revolver, with ammunition, to school show and tell when we were in 5th grade.)

Stimmell took a 6-point buck while hunting in New York. That was back on November 19, while hunting in Chautauqua County.

Then this Wednesday he collected a 9-point buck while hunting on his farm, in Warren County, to fill his Pennsylvania tag. Walking within sight of his barn he spotted a deer. It was a modest buck with about six points. He was denied a shot, though, because while he was taking a better look at the buck with his binoculars it moved into thick cover. Then with his peripheral vision he caught movement. Coming along behind the 6-point was the 9-point shown here being dragged by Stimmell.

A basic frame 8-point, it has a double brow tine for the 9th point. The rack has an inside spread of 17 inches, a very nice buck for the Allegheny Highlands.

What do we make of the two bucks sharing company at this time of the rut?

Not much, really. I have seen it many times, and you probably also have. If a hot doe were in the area it probably would have caused some separation between those bucks. Being so different in size it is unlikely that they would fight since the larger buck was dominant. The larger buck probably would have the first relationship with the doe. But research has shown that does typically breed with several bucks, so it is very possible that both bucks would have bred with the doe. And what I found surprising, if a doe has twin fawns it is possible that the fawns could have had different fathers. This ensures a better genetic mix.

I wonder if this means they actually are not twins, since they were not conceived at the same time.