How Much Does Deer Weigh?

Basit Ali Chaudhary

The weight of a deer can vary greatly depending on the type of deer, the age and sex of the deer, and other factors such as environmental conditions and food availability. The deer weight can also vary according to seasonal changes. 

Also, some deer species are naturally bigger and heavier than others while some are small to medium size. And each deer species has its weight range. 

In this blog post, I will discuss the weight range of different deer species. I will also compare the live weight, field weight, and edible weight of deer. And what impact season plays on the weight of deer. And what is the impact of diet on deer weight and what are the heaviest deer species in the world? I will also share a chart for different weights for each deer type.

So, let’s get into the topic.

Comparison of live weight, field weight, and edible weight of deer

The weight of a deer can be described in several different ways, depending on the context and the intended use of the animal. Here is a comparison of three common ways of describing the weight of a deer:

Live weight: The complete weight of the living deer is referred to as live weight, which includes all of its organs, bones, skin, antlers, and other components. In short, it is the total weight of the whole deer. It is typically measured when the deer is captured or killed and is used to estimate the total weight of the deer. 

Field-dressed weight: This is the deer’s weight after it has been cleaned and gutted in the field. Field-dressed weight is typically used by hunters and others who are interested in the amount of meat that the animal will yield, as it provides a rough estimate of the edible weight of the animal. Field-dressed weight is typically about 60-70% of the live weight of the animal, depending on the species, age, and sex of the deer.

Edible weight: This is the amount of flesh from the animal that is fit for human consumption. As bones, tendons, and other inedible portions of the animal are not included in the edible weight, it is normally 70% of the field-dressed weight.

deer edible meat

For a simple explanation, consider the below equation:

If Live Weight = 300 lbs. > Field Dress Weight will be = 230 lbs. > Edible Meat Weight will be = 165 lbs.

So, How Much Edible Venison Will a Deer Yield? You can expect an average of 20-25% decrease in weight from each state starting from live weight to field dressing weight to edible meat weight. In the end, the edible meat would be around 60% of the total weight of live deer.

Impact of the Season on deer weight

Deer weight can fluctuate greatly depending on the season, especially in areas where food supply and climatic variables change throughout the year. Here are some of the ways that season can affect deer weight:

Breeding season: Due to the physical stress of competing with other males for mate rights, male deer may lose weight during the rut, or breeding season. Also, they use a lot of energy during mating and become exhausted during sexual activity with female deer. Pregnant does may also lose weight because they must use more energy to support the growth and development of their unborn fawns.

Winter: Deer may lose weight in areas with harsh winters and plenty of snow because it is difficult for them to get enough food. At northern latitudes, when the growing season is short and food is in poor supply throughout the winter, this can be particularly difficult for deer.

Spring: Deer gains weight in the spring as they take advantage of the growing season in areas with plenty of food and water. This is especially true for deer in rural regions where stable food sources like maize and soybeans are grown.

Overall, the impact of season on deer weight can vary widely depending on the species of deer, the region, and other environmental factors. For example, below is the weight graph of red deer as observed during research on them by New Zealand Grassland Association. But this study was conducted in New Zealand. They were fed on farms according to their dietary needs.

research graph on deer growth

Are male deer heavier than females?

In general, male deer are larger and heavier than females of the same species. This is especially true for deer species like white-tailed deer, mule deer, and elk where the males develop antlers. Deer males often weigh 30–40% more than female deer. Nevertheless, age and health are also important variables in determining why male deer are heavier than female deer.

The size ranges of the two sexes may significantly overlap, even though male deer are typically bigger and heavier than female deer.

Deer Weight Chart

Deer SpeciesMale Average WeightFemale Average Weight
Siberian Elk660 lbs.410 lbs.
Chinese Water Deer45 lbs.32 lbs.
White-Tailed Deer150 lbs.110 lbs.
Black-Tailed Deer220 lbs.170 lbs.
Red Deer440 lbs.370 lbs.
Roe Deer60 lbs.50 lbs.
Reindeer400 lbs.365 lbs.
Moose1440 lbs.1200 lbs.
Mule Deer110 lbs.80 lbs.
Fallow Deer125 lbs.110 lbs.
Elk     705 lbs.650 lbs.
Chital120 lbs.96 lbs.
Sambar Deer400 lbs.360lbs.
South Andean Deer155 lbs.135 lbs.
Eld’s Deer210 lbs.185 lbs.
Reeves’s Muntjac30 lbs.21 lbs.
Sika Deer95 lbs.76 lbs.
Indian Hog Deer75 lbs.66 lbs.
Calamian Deer90 lbs.74 lbs.
Siberian Roe Deer90 lbs.75 lbs.
Note: These are average weights of different species of deer and this range can vary depending on age, health and died of deer.

Impact of diet on deer weight

Diet can have a significant impact on the weight and overall health of deer. Deer are herbivores, and their diet typically consists of a variety of grasses, leaves, shrubs, and other plant material. They need quality food to get significant nutritious content such as proteins, vitamins, and other minerals. Their weight is directly proportional to the quality of their diet. Here are some of the ways that diet can affect deer weight:

Another study conducted by Louis J. Verme and John J. Ozoga on the Effects of Diet on Growth and Lipogenesis in Deer Fawns has shown that:

Researchers fed white-tailed deer fawns a pelleted diet with varying levels of nutrition for 10 weeks during autumn. They found that fawns that were given a low or marginal diet grew more slowly and had smaller organs than those given a high diet. However, even the fawns on a low or marginal diet still accumulated surprisingly large fat stores, suggesting that fat storage is an important part of their physiology during autumn. This means that simply looking at the amount of fat on a deer may not be a reliable indicator of its overall health. A separate study found that fawns that were stunted and undernourished were able to survive by eating more, conserving energy, and minimizing their activity. 

Nutrition: Like all animals, deer require a balanced diet that provides them with the nutrients they need to maintain their health and growth. A diet that is deficient in certain nutrients, such as protein or minerals, can result in stunted growth, poor body condition, and other health problems.

Availability: The availability of food can also impact deer weight. In areas where food is scarce, such as during the winter months or in regions with drought or other environmental challenges, deer may lose weight and become more vulnerable to predation and other threats.

Quality: The quality of food can also affect deer weight. Some plants are more nutritious than others, and the availability of high-quality forage can help deer maintain their weight and overall health.

Overall, the impact of diet on deer weight can be significant, and it is an important consideration for conservationists, wildlife managers, and hunters who are interested in maintaining healthy deer populations. By managing food availability and quality, it is possible to help deer thrive and maintain healthy populations.

What Are The Heaviest Deer Species in the World?

The heaviest deer species in the world is the Moose, also known as Elk in some parts of the world. Here are some of the heaviest deer species, ranked by average adult male weight.

Alaskan Moose – average weight of 1000-1,600 pounds (450-725 kg)

Siberian Moose – average weight of 700-1,300 pounds (317-590 kg)

Roosevelt Elk – average weight of 600-1,100 pounds (272-500 kg)

European Elk – average weight of 650-1,100 pounds (294-500 kg)

Canadian Moose – average weight of 800-1,200 pounds (360-545 kg)

Sambar Deer – average weight of 700-1200 pounds (315-545 kg)

How heavy is a deer in KG?

The weight of a deer varies depending on the species, age, sex, and geographical location. On average, a mature male deer, also known as a buck, can weigh between 50 to 300 kg, depending on the species. Female deer, known as does, are usually lighter, with an average weight of around 40 to 200 kg. It also depends on specific deer specie as well because some species of deer are immensely bulky and can weigh as maximum as 750 kg. 

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