If you have ever observed a pregnant deer in a forest or zoo, what comes first in your mind is how it gets pregnant? How long it will stay pregnant? And when it will deliver? Don’t go anywhere! Keep reading to know more facts about the gestation cycle of deer.
How long are deer pregnant? In some species, doe remain pregnant for about 200 to 205 days. However, this period may exceed up General to 230 or even 286 days in some species. The gestation cycle of doe (female deer) is dependent on species, season and other factors.
In order to save deer generation, it is really helpful for hunters to know well about the reproductive process of a doe. Male and female both have to undergo crucial changes in their hormone level and reproductive organs before breeding season.
Table of Contents
Why deer are seasonal breeders?
If you are a hunter, you can’t go-ahead for perfect prey unless you have knowledge of seasonal effects on deer. After studying the physiology of deer reproduction, biologists have named deer as a seasonal breeder. Breeding season in deer is totally dependent on weather, rainfall and day length. Male prepares itself for the rut in early fall. Rut itself is a seasonal activity.
What happens before pregnancy?
Male deer and doe both prepare themselves for breeding. For this, in male different changes occur in their testosterone level and antler growth. While female reproductive organs also prepare themselves for conceiving. Let’s see these what happens before pregnancy in both males and females
Rut. Male behavior to start breeding
For hunters, it might be perfect to start hunting in the rut. The rut is male behavior to chase estrus does. Males are more active, vulnerable and easy to catch. Rut falls is also seasonal. It starts in the middle of October and ends in early December. However, it may vary in different areas and species. Before mating different changes occur in the male deer reproductive organs. Increase testosterone level causes antlers growth and maturation. Sperm ejaculate and quality also increase pre-mating.At the end of October in some species semen quality increases. Now male deer is ready to chase doe. For this, they are easily spottable to hunters. As they walk more in daylight and wander off around.
What happens to female before mating
The female estrus period is quite short and it starts in the fall, from October to December. For this reason, females are termed as short-day breeders. They normally go for a period of 24 hours in the heat in November like whitetail deer of northern regions. Estrus doe beds in strange areas to avoid males. Its tail turns flat and frequent urination is also a sign of doe in estrus. This is, in fact, pre-mating signs in doe.
Process of mating
Mating lasts from October to November. Buck try to tend doe and approach as many time as she permits. In some species, buck remains with the doe for 2 to 3 days. An interesting fact is that when a buck finds the doe in peak estrus, it will not let other bucks to approach the doe. If a doe is passing through estrus for the first time, more bucks will approach her. Doe will become pregnant after first mating if not it will get ready to mate again after 28 days.
What happens in pregnancy?
In the starting days of pregnancy, it’s not easy to judge if the doe is pregnant or not. Hunter sometimes hunts pregnant doe that is not legal in different regions. So it’s better to hunt in the rut rather than in the gestation period. The gestation period of different species in deer is different depending on the season and other factors. Let’s discuss the gestation of different species
The gestation period of different species.
The gestation period in Whitetail deer
Whitetail deer are found in South America and Canada. They have antlers in males and their antlers are shed off and grow every year. The gestation period of this species is around 200 days as they mostly live in cold areas. They give birth to 1 to 3 fawns at a time in spring as it is the best time to grow well,
The gestation period in mule deer
Mule deer live well in hot areas like western America. They play chase games before mating and mating run from October to November. Their gestation period is about 7 months long. They give birth to single fawn in the first pregnancy and mostly twins in next in the USA.
The gestation period in Red deer
Red deer are found in most parts of Asia, America Europea, and northwest Africa. In this species, males and females live close to each other during breeding, otherwise, they live separately. Doe remain pregnant for about 236 days and will give birth to 1 to 3 fawns in late spring
The gestation period in Roe Deer
Roe Deer are mostly found in European countries. Their gestation period is 290 days long as egg remains in uterus for about 4 -5 months before developing in the fetus. Doe will give birth to 1 to 3 fawns in May.
The gestation period in Fallow deer
Fallow deers were once in Europe only but now they are introduced in Asia, the United States, and Texas. Their gestation period is about 230 to 245 days long and the doe will give birth to single fawn late May.
After delivery picture
After conceiving doe, males of most of the species will return to their territories while females will return to their herd. After delivery doe will keep itself busy in taking care of fawns as they are weak in the early days. In some species, the fawn will remain with doe until one year. Fawn is usually smelled free. For this reason, they are mostly saved from being prey.
Gestation Period For Deer (All Species)
|Deer Species Name||Time Frame|
|Red Deer:||236 Days|
|Roe Deer||290 Days|
|Sika Deer: ||224 Days|
|Fallow Deer: ||230 Days|
|Elk: ||240-262 Days|
|White-tailed Deer:||201 Days|
|Mule Deer: ||203 Days|
|Chital: ||227 Days|
|Sambar Deer: ||246 Days|
| Barasingha: ||245 Days|
|Siberian Roe Deer:||290 Days
|Tufted Deer:||181 Days|
|Reeves’s Muntjac:||214 Days
|Eld’s Deer:|| 240 Days
|Javan Rusa:||250 Days|
|Père David's deer: ||286 Days|
|Southern Pudu: ||210 Days|
|Calamian Deer:||224 Days
|South Andean Deer: ||213 Days|
|Indian Muntjac: ||210 Days|
|Indian Hog Deer: ||220 Days|
|Red Brocket:||225 Days
|Taruca: ||236 Days|
|Brown Brocket: ||220 Days|
|Visayan Spotted Deer: ||243 Days|
|Hairy Fronted Muntjac: ||196 days|
|Fea’s Muntjac: ||196 Days|
|Thorold’s Deer: ||263 Days|
|Dwarf Brocket: ||243 Days|
|Little Brocket: ||232 Days|
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is red deer pregnant?
Red deer stays pregnant for about seven and a half months and give birth to fawn in late spring.
How long deer stay pregnant?
Their gestation period is different in different species depending on weather, day length and other factors. However, in some species, it may end in 200 days while in others it may exceed up to 286 days.
How long are fallow deer pregnant?
Doe in fallow deer stay pregnant for about 230 days but it’s not fixed it can exceed up to 245 days depending on the season and other factors.
How many months is a deer pregnant?
Doe remains pregnant for seven and a half months until May. It delivers fawns from May to June. However, this is not an exact duration, it may vary from species to species.
How long is a whitetail deer pregnant?
The gestation period of the whitetail deer is about 201 days. Depending on other factors, it can increase or decrease.
How can you tell if a doe is pregnant?
For wild deer, it is not easy to tell if they’re pregnant or not until three months. After three months you can feel a bulge on the underside of the abdomen. For zoo deer, you can palpate doe for the physical presence of a fetus in the uterus.
How many times can a deer get pregnant?
Healthy deer get pregnant whenever it is approached by male deer. However, when its uterus becomes weak, it will not get pregnant.
How many babies do deer have in a lifetime?
There is no exact number. It depends mainly on the health of female deer and species of deer. It can be as less as three fawns or as more as 8 fawns in a lifetime.
Hope from this article, you got the answer that how long are deer pregnant. If you are planning to go for a deer hunt, don’t miss reading this article as it is illegal to shot a pregnant doe. This article has almost everything from mating season to delivery time of does. Its always good to know everything about your prey. In this way, you can save the deer generation by not hunting pregnant doe. You can learn more about deer-like baby deer called, group of deer called, deer sounds, what should be used to screw on broadheads, etc.
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