The fallow deer is native to Europe but has been introduced around the world. The male fallow deer is known as a buck, the female is a doe, and the young a fawn. Adult bucks are 140–160 cm (long, and typically weigh 60–100 kg. Does are 130–150 cm long and 30–50 kg in weight. The largest bucks may however measure 190 cm long and weigh 150 kg. They live for about 12–16 years.
The colours of the fallow deer vary among different variants of the species. The most common one has a chestnut coat with white spots, most noticeable in summer with a much darker, unspotted coat in the winter. The light-coloured area around the tail is edged with black. The tail is light with a black stripe.
Only bucks have antlers, which are broad and shovel-shaped from three years. In the first two years the antler is a single spike.
Behavior and Lifecycle
The fallow deer was spread across central Europe by the Romans. From nearly 500,000 years ago through the Roman Empire and still today, fallow deer have been hunted for food and sport. Today, the fallow deer has been introduced to North America, South America, Africa, and Australia – and wild populations are becoming established in each of these areas. While the deer is considered prized by many hunters, it often competes with local species and may pose a threat.
They are grazing animals; their preferred habitat is mixed woodland and open grassland. During the rut bucks spread out and females move between them; at that time of year fallow deer are relatively ungrouped compared with the rest of the year, when they try to stay together in groups of up to 150.