The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has created a map detailing the estimated deer breeding periods across the state.
Deer breeding periods are primarily determined by the genetics of the does, but many other factors can affect breeding timing. Deer health, density, sex ratios and habitat conditions are other important variables affecting deer breeding periods.
The map is a guide to general deer breeding periods in Louisiana. It was developed using GIS software and includes breeding dates calculated from fetal measurements taken across the state. These dates provide the best estimates of the average two-week peak breeding periods over time. The entire breeding range will usually be longer than what is shown on the map. In many locations, data was collected over multiple years, increasing the sample sizes and capturing any variation that might occur over a longer time period.
To access the map on the LDWF website, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/louisiana-estimated-deer-breeding-periods.
Since 2006, previously unsampled areas across the state have been targeted for sample collection, resulting in a greatly improved data base. Many of these areas are of lower deer density and more difficult for collection of sufficient data. Area sample sizes vary and the dates calculated from areas with small numbers of samples 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 there is annual variation in breeding timing, and that peak breeding times are not necessarily peak buck movement times. Bucks may be more active before or after peak breeding periods, but a great amount of research has shown that peak buck movement is one to two weeks before peak breeding.