Estimated Deer Breeding Periods
We estimate deer breeding periods primarily using the genetics of does, but many other factors including deer health, density, sex ratios, and habitat conditions can affect breeding periods.
This map is a guide to general deer breeding periods in Louisiana. We calculated breeding dates from fetal measurements taken across the state. (A fetal measurement refers to the length of a deer fetus, which is used to determine the date of conception.) These dates provide the best estimates of the average two-week peak breeding periods over time. The entire breeding range is longer than what is shown on the map.
In many locations, data was collected over multiple years—the sample sizes are larger and should capture any variation that might occur over a longer time period. Since 2006, we have targeted previously unsampled areas across the state for sample collection, greatly improving our database. Many of these areas have lower deer density, which makes it more difficult to collect sufficient data. Area sample sizes vary; the dates calculated from areas with small sample sizes will not be as accurate as those with large numbers of samples. Areas nearest the actual collection points will be the most accurate. This map will continue to change slightly as more samples are added and area data gaps are filled.
Hunters should remember that breeding periods vary annually and peak breeding times are not necessarily peak buck movement times. Bucks may be more active before or after peak breeding periods, but research has shown that peak buck movement is one to two weeks before peak breeding.