|SREL Reprint #1345|
V. Miller, Olin E. Rhodes Jr., Thomas R. Litchfield, Michael H. Smith,
Differential development of reproductive
characteristics and sex organs among age classes of male white-tailed deer (Odocoileus
virginianus) during the breeding seasons was studied in west-central
South Carolina. Blood samples and
reproductive organs were obtained from 292 hunter-harvested deer from 26 October
through 21 December 1985. Peak
serum testosterone concentrations of >3.5-year-old deer occurred the first
week of the study, whereas peak concentrations in younger deer occurred
approximately 4 weeks later. Testosterone
concentrations were higher (P<0.03) in older age classes.
Data support the hypothesis that younger males reach peak rutting
conditions later than prime-aged (> 3.5 years old) individuals.
Correlations (P<0.01) among testosterone concentrations, testicle
length, and scrotal circumference were observed in yearling and 2.5-year-old
bucks, but not in the > 3.5 year olds.
SREL Reprint #1345
Miller, K.V., O.E. Rhodes Jr., T.R. Litchfield, M.H. Smith, and R.L. Marchinton. 1987. Reproductive characteristics of yearling and adult male white-tailed deer. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 41:378-384.