SREL Reprint #1345




Karl V. Miller, Olin E. Rhodes Jr., Thomas R. Litchfield, Michael H. Smith, and R. Larry Marchinton



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.

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