Dave: Yes, and that occurs more than you might imagine!
A Texas A&M-Kingsville study found that 16 of 23 sets of twins had 2 different sires, typically one mature buck and another buck 2½ years or younger. Researchers suggest the younger bucks are opportunistic little devils, sneaking in to breed the doe just before or after the mature buck does.
And get this: Scientists at Auburn University reported 3 different buck sires for a set of triplets one time!
This is yet another reason the whitetail is such a fascinating creature…and why trying to manage a herd’s genetics is so unpredictable.
BTW, we are seeing a record number of fawns this summer here in Virginia, what about where you live and hunt?
The smart deer hunter is always observing: Why do most of the bucks travel E-W in a patch of woods…why do does and fawns like a particular corner of a plot…why do deer flock to mineral licks after a heavy rain?
We’ve had a lot of heavy rain this summer, and an hour or so after each rain ends (no matter the time of day) my Spartan Camera app blows up with images of deer with their heads stuck in water-filled mineral holes. Must be something to it, so I reached out to biologists and mineral experts, most of whom had observed the same thing.
While we’re not sure why this occurs, we theorize that heavy rain roils a mineral site, pulling certain minerals off the soil and suspending them in water, where deer can “lick” them easily. As the water recedes, suspended minerals settle on the topsoil, again easily consumed by the deer. Water also causes leaching of the minerals, and perhaps that’s a factor.
Anyhow, check your cameras after a rain and see what you’ve got.
My sketch of the top spot to set your camera this weekend is very rudimentary, so let me explain.
In this case there are two cornfields (might be soybeans or alfalfa where you hunt) with a row of trees and brush about 20 yards wide, splitting and separating the fields. Within that row of trees is a flat, grassy gap where the farmer will drive his tractor between the fields in a month or so. On an old gate post in the gap is the top spot to set a camera now, while the corn is still tall and uncut.
We have 9 cameras running on the Virginia farm where this gap is located, with some cams situated on field edges, others on clover plots, others on minerals in the woods. The camera on the gate post has been the most productive by far for catching bucks on natural movement.
First good buck showed in the gap in early July.
Later in the month…
Catching the big split brow rolling through the gap really got us going.
We had a surprise traveler, going the other way from the bucks.
We’re pulling the card from the gap camera tomorrow morning, can’t wait to see who’s been by the last couple weeks.
If you know of a similar gap like this where you hunt, go set a camera there before the crops are cut and the deer movement patterns change.