Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Breeding success among 'lesser' roe bucks

  1. #1

    Question Breeding success among 'lesser' roe bucks

    Does anyone know what % of sexually mature roe bucks might be expected to successfully breed with one or more does during the rut? There have been some interesting discussions about 'managing' bucks with better heads to improve the overall quality of future generations. As I understand it roe bucks hold territories rather than a hareem of females as red stags and fallow bucks do. In the latter case I would guess breeding success among the lesser stags is pretty low and so the big, dominant stags are fairly efficient at cornering their part of the genetic market. But in the case of roe, do the lesser bucks perhaps get more of a chance to spread their genes among any does that pass though? Or is it the case that the doe will just not permit the lesser bucks to breed with them (in which case I wonder if their perception of a quality buck is the same as ours and based on head size...)?

    Sorry! Not sure how many questions there are among that lot but I'm just trying to get my head round the various factors when the situation (as far as I understand it anyway!) is a bit less straightforward than with red deer or fallow.

  2. #2
    This does not really answer your question, but...

    ...although antler characteristics are heritable, a huge proportion of the variation is accounted for by things OTHER than their genes (food and age acounting for a considerably greater proportion of the variation than genes).

    This means that if you want to select for better heads, you need to know how old the animal is and you need account for any variation introduced by diet.

    I'm sceptical that anyone is able to successfully select for better heads. I think the best that can be acheived is reducing population density so there's more food available.

    Which means that it's probably not worth worrying about whether 'lesser' bucks get to mate or not.

  3. #3
    First let me say that to try to select which bucks to cull and which to leave by antler size is doomed to failure, the idea that a bucks head improved year on year is now known to not be the case a good head this year may only be a mediocre one next year and vice versa, the only successful way to select cull bucks is by age if it fits in your cull plan age wise what its carrying on its head is of little importance.

    As far as genes are concerned the Buck is only at most 50% of the equation I say at most as many experts now say the quality of the Doe is more important than the Buck, whether they are right or wrong the Doe has at least as much input as the Buck, how are you going to decide which Does to leave? by age of course the same as you should be doing with the Bucks, cull the correct percentage across the population age wise and the quality will take care of its self.

    Regarding your question about young Bucks mating with Does, a Roe Doe is only in season for a short time anything from a few hours to a maximum of five days the average time being 36 hours, when a Doe comes into season she will look for the best Buck that she can find sometimes travelling a fair distance to find one she will then lead him back to where she wants to mate, Roe Does are promiscuous and after this initial mating will mate with any and every Buck she can find regardless
    of age or quality, however this initially mating with the best or one of the best Bucks in an area would appear to be natures way of ensuring that the majority of youngsters are fathered by the best Bucks genetically which probably makes any attempt by us to decide which Bucks to leave for breeding a bit pointless.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the responses. I think you've confirmed what I suspected, that head size alone is too simplistic.

    It was the oft-heard "I'd have left that one to pass on its genes" comment that got me thinking. Seems a very trophy-focused view and assumes that a roe doe's idea of what good looks like is the same as ours.

    Based on what you said re. head size being at least as much a product of environment as it is genetics, is it fair to say that where the observed result of deer management is improved quality or number of trophy heads (which is an obvious goal for some pro-stalkers and seems to be achievable) then that's as much down to getting the numbers and age-range right for the ground as it is to favouring bucks showing larger heads when culling? Better feeding and less stress/energy exerted holding territory in a lower density population presumably results in more optimal conditions for antler growth???

    I should say that this is all completely theoretical for me as I'm about as far away from ever being able to put any of this into practice as it's possible to be. But it appeals to my scientific mind!

  5. #5
    Andy good question and I need to say good answer from Boggy. What I will say is a roe buck holding the best territory will no doubt be a good buck. He will also normally carry the best body weight and if he is on good soil and carrying the correct genes his head gear will normally reflect this. So your question will the does get stuffed by the best buck YES unless you have shot him. The lessor bucks as you call them still get a wee shot but the jobs already been done hopefully. How can you decide what bucks to leave easy watch the deer and let nature tell you who is top dog its not hard really but you need to be on the same ground regularly and have the corre3ct attitude (Not the brown its down attitude lol).

  6. #6
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    SW Birmingham (Rubery Rednal)
    Posts
    1,737
    I always wonder about the seemingly universal truth that animals will breed only with ideal genetic specimens (whatever they are).

    Was it only the invention of alcohol that led to this being different in humans?

    More seriously, what do the "lesser" bucks and does do? Or the "lesser" members of any species?

    I suspect that (even in the absence of alcohol) they let their hormones run their course with more or less whatever potential mate crosses their path, or at most they settle for the best they can get, and that the principle of natural eugenics is enacted by external circumstances (food supply, predator numbers, and habitat in general) to a degree that makes the selection of mates by individual choice pale into insignificance.
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
    “Comodidad, tranquilidad y buena alimentacion” - A Spanish recipe for contentment that oddly omits hunting.
    "I'm off to spend some time at the top of the food chain..." - (after) Tulloch
    "Oh [dear], they probably heard that in the village!" - RickoShay

  7. #7
    With Fallow, on several occasions I have seen sorrels etc mate with females that had been in and among the group while the master buck was either too worn out or off chasing others both male and female.
    I think in nature a great deal of mating in herd species is, if it will stand then f### it and run off before you get caught by the husband coming back

  8. #8

    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Gain View Post
    I always wonder about the seemingly universal truth that animals will breed only with ideal genetic specimens (whatever they are).

    Was it only the invention of alcohol that led to this being different in humans?

    More seriously, what do the "lesser" bucks and does do? Or the "lesser" members of any species?

    I suspect that (even in the absence of alcohol) they let their hormones run their course with more or less whatever potential mate crosses their path, or at most they settle for the best they can get, and that the principle of natural eugenics is enacted by external circumstances (food supply, predator numbers, and habitat in general) to a degree that makes the selection of mates by individual choice pale into insignificance.
    True up to a point, but in Roe deer its the female that calls the shots its she who decides with which Buck to mate which is invariably the best Buck she can find afraid the Buck has no say in the matter as I said after that initial mating she will mate with any Buck she can find, of course some of these couplings will result in off spring but the majority will be the result of that initial mating, more so as Roe tend to come in to season only once a year, there are some recorded cases of Does coming in a second time but it is not at all common.

    Doubt that the Does in charge? just watch a Buck thats had enough being pursued by a Doe that wants more

    To many people watch a Buck chasing a Doe thinking he is dictating the proceedings not so, she is leading him getting him worked up and its she who will decide where and if they mate.

  9. #9
    Disclaimer right up front - this is pure conjecture and extrapolation based on whitetail deer.

    That being said, our whitetail do seem to behave much like roe, and fit the same Eco-niche. Some good studies on both wild and penned deer show that some of the largest and still vigorous bucks do very little of the breeding. They are either highly pressured and prefer survival to sex, or just seem to be less moved by the desire. It is thought these grand old bucks did indeed breed when they were middle aged, so they probably already have put their genes in the pool.

    Some of the same studies show lesser bucks to do a fair share of breeding. Many of these we would not class as big deer - but we humans are really one dimensional in our judgement of what make a "good" deer. We see antlers and make are decision. A doe may look at body size, vigor or chase, some scent/pheromone factor, or many other things that we do not see/hear/smell/taste.

  10. #10
    Coot you are correct and if you can let nature make the choice. Regards animals picking the best genetic suiter Mr Gain. This is still true in humans but a young woman's desire at a tender age to breed with the six pack bad boy at the underage party is subdued as she matures by reason that the geek with the cash can provide better for her offspring while being a lessor genetic specimen. This dose not stop her later on in life going out at a weekends and seeking out that young stallion again.
    Leave the big lads holding the ground in June and let the female pick her sperm doner.
    Last edited by 6pointer; 11-08-2014 at 08:00.

Similar Threads

  1. Success: The hunt for the lesser spotted West Country Cerakoter
    By Eric the Red in forum Cleaning, Gunsmithing and Equipment Care
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 06-01-2014, 22:48
  2. Wanted Wanted red hinds/stags fallow bucks breeding stock
    By joe.222 in forum Other Items
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 25-12-2013, 23:09
  3. Lidl Game Cam - Roe Bucks & Roe Doe
    By Stewarty69 in forum Equipment & Accessories
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 24-06-2013, 05:49
  4. Roe Buck Success
    By Code4 in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-05-2013, 15:41
  5. Any success moving roe deer to standing rifles?
    By muddy42 in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 11-11-2010, 20:06

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •