Fallow Deer Antlers

Fallow Deer belongs to the family Cervidae and are a species of ruminant mammal that were native to most of Europe, although fallow deer have been introduced around the world, including North and South America.

Only fallow deer bucks have antlers, which are shovel-shaped and the bucks usually start growing them around 3 years old.  During the first two years, they the fallow deer bucks grow "pre-antlers", which are single spikes. Mature fallow deer males will fight with other males to gain access to estrous females.  The females consider the large antlers as an attractive characteristic on male fallow deers, and it has been found that males with large antlers have a higher mating success than those with smaller antlers. When the males fight, it is not uncommon that antlers can be broken, however a broken antler makes a male fallow deer less attractive to the females.  Also, once a fallow deer's antler is broken, and even thought breaking an antler is not painful to the deer, they seem less inclined to engage in additional fighting during that season.

Fallow deer males shed their antlers after each mating season, and usually begin growing a new set each spring.