How does a Deer Mating, reproduce, Babies, and Lifespan

How does a Deer Mating, reproduce, Babies, and Lifespan


Deer Reproduction, Babies, and Lifespan

The deer’s breeding season takes place every year for only a short amount of time. Most species pursue a reproduction strategy known as polygyny in which a single dominant male will have multiple female partners. Only a few species prefer to be monogamous. Because competition can be fierce, males tend to exhibit aggressive tendencies throughout mating season, as they try to guard their territories and mates from potential rivals. As mentioned previously, antler size is a significant determinant of reproductive success.



Once a female deer is impregnated, the gestation period can last anywhere between six to eight months. Mothers will tend to produce one or two offspring at a time. Less commonly, the doe will produce three offspring. The young deer are known as fawns or calves, depending on the size of the species.

While out foraging, mothers will hide the fawn in nearby vegetation until the young animal is strong enough to begin walking on its own power. The fawns are often born with white spots to provide camouflage from predators. The offspring are weaned at two to five months, but they may stay with the mother up to a year. Males often play minimal roles in raising the young fawns.


After the first year of life, males will begin to grow their antlers on an annual basis. Deer can live around 12 years in the wild, give or take a few years, but hunting, predation, and vehicle collisions can greatly truncate the length of their lives. Many do not live beyond their fifth year of existence.

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