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Does Antler Size Really Matter To Does?

A recent study examines what does look for when choosing a mate.

Does Antler Size Really Matter To Does?
After the main antler beam was sawed off, a metal sleeve or coupling was fitted over the existing antler. This way, interchangeable antlers (small and large) could be placed on various bucks. Inset shows upper coupling.

Occasionally, a scientific paper comes out that really makes you sit back and question the results. In this case, thinking outside the box and coming up with a studydesign really got my attention, because it was genius.

Daniel Morina recently completed his Master of Science degree in the Wildlife Department at Mississippi State University. One part of his thesis dealt with trying to determine exactly what a doe is really looking for in a buck prior to the actual breeding process. In other words, can you independently associate a buck’s body size, age, or antler size with what a doe is looking for in a mate?

Before we look at Morina’s study design, we need to...

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