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FALLOW DEER

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Slightly smaller than the White Tail deer we see throughout Georgia, you’ll know it’s a Fallow Deer when you see ornate, shovel-shaped antlers on the bucks.

PROFILE

Our resident Fallow Deer come to us from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR). They were previously at another facility that could no longer care for them. They are a young herd and are enjoying their sprawling hillside at Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary.

OVERVIEW

Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary Least threatened
CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary Fallow Deer Height
AVERAGE SIZE

Compared to a 6′ Man

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AVERAGE WEIGHT

Females: 110lbs
Males: 220+ lbs

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AVERAGE LIFESPAN

12 – 16 Years

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DIET

Herbivore

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REGIONS

Europe

The Fallow Deer is native to Europe, but has been introduced to Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, South Africa, Fernando Pó, São Tomé, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Réunion, Seychelles, Comoro Islands, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Cyprus, Israel, Cape Verde, Lebanon, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, the Falkland Islands, and Peru.

APPEARANCE

The male fallow deer is known as a buck, the female is a doe, and the young is a fawn. Smaller than common white tail deer, the largest fallow bucks can weigh as much as 330 lbs., but average 130 – 220lbs. Does weigh an average of 66 – 110lbs.

Common fur coloring is chestnut with white mottling, which grows darker with no spots during winter months. Menil has more distinct spots, which remain in the winter. Unlike the common variety, there is no black edge around the white tail area. Melanistic varieties are all black to a greyish-brown without spots or light areas around the tail. Leucistic are all white, yet they are not albino as their eyes and noses have pigment.

Bucks will have singular spike antlers during their first two years. At about 3 years of age, the antlers begin to grow into a large bowl or shovel shape, averaging 2 feet in length. The size of the antlers are an indicator of health. Does judge potential mates by overall size and antler size. Bucks will use their antlers as weapons when fighting for mates, scarce resources, and territories.

CHARACTERISTICS

Fallow deer are descendents of the Megacerines, a diverse deer lineage that was widespread and abundant early in the Ice Ages. They are the only Old World deer with flat antlers.

Fallow deer live in herds of 10 – 50. Outside of mating season, called the rut, males will group off and form their own smaller herd. During the day, they can be found in open woodlands, and in the evenings, they will venture onto farmlands to graze. They mainly consume green grass, but if they cannot locate a good source, they will look for brown grasses. When grasses are scarce they will strip bark from trees.

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