In northcentral Pennsylvania the breeding season (the rut) for white-tailed deer peaks in mid-November. Some bucks become interested in does in October and they may continue pursuing the ladies until January, but most does are bred during two weeks in the middle of November.
Research has shown that, as the breeding season approaches, bucks begin roaming widely and many entirely leave their home range in search of receptive does. After breeding season those bucks that survive hunting season tend to return to their home range.
The camera traps on the hill above the house captured videos of bucks that came in search of the does that frequent the area.
The videos were taken at the peak of the rut, only the spike (called 2-point in the video) and the 4-point were around before the rut; then the larger bucks came looking for girlfriends. Those two young bucks were probably 1½ years old and hadn’t dispersed earlier in the year – but they may have dispersed to look for a new home now that the big guys have arrived, the young bucks haven't been caught on camera traps again.
Those big bucks might hang around for a while before most of them gradually make their way back to the home ranges they occupied earlier in the year. Others may find our area more to their liking and stay here.