The Life Cycle of a Whitetail Deer


The Rut Draws Everyone's Attention! *


Between October and January, male deer start to think of romance. The breeding season is also called “the rut.”  The busiest month is in November.

Breeding Season is Dangerous for Drivers

While the deer are thinking about breeding and baby fawns, they are not paying attention to where they are going.  Most accidents between vehicles and deer happen during the breeding season.

Another cause of accidents is the fact that this summer’s fawns are starting to stray and may wander too close to roadways.

Deer Gestation Period

One or two fawns are born (in May or June) to a doe after a gestation period that ranges between 195 and 212 days.

At birth, these youngsters weigh between 5 and 9 lbs. (or 2.5 to 4 kgs.).  They spend their first days hidden in tall grasses or other safe out-of-the-way-spots, while the doe feeds.

The First Year

Fawns are born reddish-brown with white spots on their backs. They remain this color until the fall of their first year. At that time they take on the coloration of other deer — a gray-brown.

From the age of a few weeks to about 8 months, the fawn is in the constant company of his mother.   Although weaned around 8 months of age, the fawn may stay with the doe for more than a year.

Reaching Maturity

A young deer reaches sexual maturity at about 1 and 1/2 years; while the youngster takes 4 to 5 years to reach full physical maturity.

Deer Info – By the Calendar **

October 21 – January 5  – Most breeding activity takes place

November 12 – Peak of the breeding season

June 29 – Date by which most fawns are born

** from Texas Parks & Wildlife


* “Dream Team One-on-One” used by permission of Vantage  Point Graphics


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Published in: on January 18, 2010 at 11:17 am  Comments Off on The Life Cycle of a Whitetail Deer  
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