Breeding Fawn Does

Dan T. from Tennessee, writes to tell me that he has a friend that told him that all fawn does can breed their first fall. “Is this true?” Dan asks.

Dr. Dave Samuel

Dan, your friend is partially correct. It seems that around 25 percent of fawn does in farm country (where there is good food, and the fawns are thus in great shape), will come into estrus in December and be bred. This can happen in the east and farther north, but apparently only if the doe fawn weighs a certain amount, say 80 pounds to 90 pounds.

Thus, the late December rut, that we see, though reduced compared to the November rut, is due in part to doe fawns coming into estrus for the first time. These fawns do not come into estrus in the November rut, but do so in December. And these doe fawns usually just give birth to single fawns the next spring, rather than twins. The result of doe fawn breeding is not a major contribution to the overall breeding of deer, but it does add to the overall production, especially in farm country where the deer are healthy.

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Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of‘s content at Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.



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