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Ask The Biologist: Triplet Fawns

Back To "Ask The Biologist?"QUESTION: I live in northeast Texas and this year saw triplet fawns for the first time. How often does this occur? The doe that had them is a 4 years old and has had twins the past two years. This is in the wild — no high fence, just a lot of year-round trail camera photos. — Kyle

Ask The Biologist

ANSWER: Triplet fawns in wild, free-ranging deer are uncommon to rare. The number of fawns per doe can vary based on several variables, not the least of which are age and nutrition. In her first year as a mother, a doe will typically have one fawn, though on rare occasions she might have two. Most does don’t breed until 1.5 years of age, but some doe fawns are bred in their first fall, especially in exceptionally good habitat. The average for adult does is just under two fawns. Most will have two, but some will only have one, which brings the average down slightly.

It’s difficult to say just how rare triplet fawns are, although one Texas Parks and Wildlife Department study puts the occurrence at less than 2 percent. The determining factor as to why they occurred in your area might very well be the protein feeding and year-round food plots you mentioned in your letter. Proper nutrition, especially year-round nutrition, is a key factor of deer productivity. Keep up the good work, and your deer will, too.

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