Fallow deer are widely sought after by hunters for their impressive antlers. Often the target of trophy hunts, their antlers can measure up to 70 centimeters in height. These deer are the only British deer with palmate antlers. Males can weigh anywhere from 46 to 94 kilograms while females weigh less, averaging anywhere from 35 to 56 kilograms.
In the 11th century, the Normans introduced fallow deer to Britain. Today they can be found in Britain and Wales as well as Scotland and Northern Ireland. In the United States, there is a good population in the Texas area which is why hunters tend to flock there when they want to target fallow deer for trophy hunts.
Fallow Deer Characteristics
Fallow deer can appear in a number of different colors including red, brown, black, and even pure white coats. Often times you’ll see them with a black line running from their back to their tail. In the summer they can get white spots on their back. As you would imagine, their coats gets thicker during the winter months to provide warmth, making those white spots less noticeable.
Fallow deer tend to be more active at night especially in areas where there are a lot of people. Peak activity is at dawn and dusk. For most of the day, fallow deer will lie down to ruminate between feedings.
For most of the year males and females will stay in groups in their own sexes, only coming out of these groups when it is mating season. There is an exception. You may find large herds of fallow deer (both sexes combined) in areas where there is a plenty of food for them to eat.
Fallow deer have very keen senses of smell, hearing, and vision. They communicate with each other through body language, sounds, and smells.
Fallow Deer Habitat
Fallow Deer are not fussy when it comes to where they live. They can adapt to many different types of settings. That’s why you’ll find them in forests, shrublands, grasslands, pasturelands, and plantations. Typically they prefer habitats that have a mixed vegetation type. They also tend to lean towards habitats that are broad-leaf forests with different levels of density. Fallow deer can also live in a variety of climates ranging from cool-humid to warm-dry areas.
Eating Habits of Fallow Deer
When it comes to eating, fallow deer typically graze on different types of grass but may also look for leaves as well as cereals, berries, and acorns. They are also known to eat herbs, dwarf shrubs, buds, shoots, and bark. Depending on the season and what may be available, fallow deer are adaptable and are not fussy eaters.
Breeding Habits of Fallow Deer
The breeding season of the fallow deer runs from September to January. During this time, which is also referred to as the rut, males will mark their territory and paw the ground. They may urinate in these areas as well as make low-pitched groans and grunts. During mating season, the males will often fight violently with their antlers. Very rarely are there serious injuries due to this behavior.
The females will come to the area the males have marked during this time and mating will occur. Females will usually conceive for the first time around the time they are 16 months old. The highest point of fertilization is in October. The gestation period usually lasts 33 to 35 weeks with many females giving birth in June. Before a female is ready to give birth she will usually seek out a secret hiding place to do so. A female deer will typically give birth to one offspring at a time.
After giving birth, the mother will not immediately rejoin the herd. Rather she will hide the fawn in the bushes and return to nurse it regularly. Mothers will bond with their fawns immediately after birth by licking their young clean. Weaning will start around 20 days old but may not completely finish until the fawn is seven months old. After about 3 to 4 weeks, the mother and fawn will rejoin the herd. The fawn will become independent after one year. The lifespan for bucks is usually 8 to 10 years, but some live as long as 16 years.
Hunting Fallow Deer
As was mentioned above, fallow deer are often sought after by hunters due to their large antlers, making them prime targets for trophy hunts.
In Texas, there are no seasonal restrictions on hunting fallow deer, making it a year-round activity. Because the terrain of where fallow deer can be found varies, hunting fallow deer is an active sport. With that said, Squaw Mountain Ranch offers a variety of hunting options. You can choose to safari-style hunt from high-rack vehicles or use comfortable blinds. There is also the option of the old sit and stalk method. Bow hunts, pistol hunts, rifle hunts, and black powder hunts are all options at Squaw Mountain Ranch.
There are a variety of hunting packages to choose from at Squaw Mountain Ranch. No matter which you choose we ensure a fair hunt resulting in a trophy any hunter will be proud to display.
Hunters just need to bring their rifle and ammo, hunting clothes, a Texas hunting license, cooler to transport meat and any other desired personal items.
Call Squaw Mountain today at 830-275-3277 to find out more about the variety of fallow deer hunting packages available.