Fallow Deer
By Steve Mahurin

The Fallow Deer (Dama Dama) is originally a native of the Mediterranean region of southern Europe and North Africa. The first known stocking of this deer was at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate.

The first stocking of this species in Texas was during the 1930's on a ranch north of San Antonio and in the area now known as the Aransas Wildlife Refuge.

These unique deer have spread their numbers across much of Texas and occur in over 60 counties. The majority of them reside in the Texas "Hill Country" but huntable populations exist in a number of states across the country.

There are many color variations that occur in this species, but the majority of them are white, brown's shading to nearly black, and a reddish brown with white spots. One of the oddities of this animal is that when in velvet the velvet in lighter colored animals is a matching color. In the darker color phases the velvet is always a dark color.

Fallow Deer

There are a couple of other things that add greatly to their desirability as trophies. Actually three things. Those being, the prominent Adams apple, the wonderful quality of the venison on the table, and best of all the antlers. The antlers on this creature is palmated similar to a moose. This palmation is usually four to seven inches wide and twelve to fifteen inches long. Antler length in a mature trophy animal should be in the neighborhood of 23 to 30 inches, with an inside spread of 20 to 30 inches.

A mature buck will have a shoulder height of around 36 inches and weigh from 150 to 200 pounds. The best time to hunt fallow deer is around the first of September and through October. This is when they first come out of their velvet and you have the best chance at a trophy without many of the points that project off the back of the palmated area being broken off. This is also the start of the rutting season. It is pure pleasure to the ears, to hear the bucks sounding their grunts while tending a female or challenging other males.

Written by Steve Mahurin on July 22, 2000.

Steves Fallow

Steve Mahurin
25 North Heights
La Marque, Texas 77568

Email: samahurin@comcast.net

Copyright 2001 - 2011

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