Ask The Biologist

They Start Young

They Start Young

By Bob Humphrey

How soon a doe breeds depends largely on habitat.

QUESTION: Do yearling does go into heat and breed their first year? — Gary K.

ANSWER: I suspect by the way you’ve worded your question, you are misusing the term yearling.

A deer becomes a yearling after passing its first birthday. By the time breeding season rolls around, a yearling doe will be roughly 18 months old and under normal circumstances most does this age will go into heat and breed.

From research we know that fawns also sometimes breed. The incidence is much higher (as much as 50 percent) in area of abundant, high-quality forage and light to moderate winters and much lower (5 percent) in areas of poorer habitat or severe winters. There is some evidence fawns must meet a weight threshold of about 70-80 pounds live weight before they will come into estrus and conceive.

— Recent Ask the Biologist Question:

Too Many Deauxs: Don’t believe exaggerated tales about massively skewed doe-to-buck ratios.
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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd