What Is A Male Deer Called?

Basit Ali Chaudhary

A male deer is commonly called a buck. Compared to does, or female deer, bucks are often bigger and have more magnificent antlers. The antlers of a buck grow annually and they shed and regrow their antlers each year. The antlers of a buck can grow up to several feet long and are used for a variety of purposes, including fighting for territory or mating rights, as well as for defense against predators. In fact, the biggest antlers of an elk are reported to be 12 feet.

Deer SpeciesMale Deer Name
Red deer (Cervus elaphus)Stag
Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus)Buck
Fallow deer (Dama dama)Buck
Sika deer (Cervus nippon)Stag
Muntjac deer (Muntiacus reevesi)Buck
Chinese water deer (Hydropotes inermis)Buck
Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)Bull
Caption: Male Deer Names

Bucks are often more solitary than does, particularly during mating season, when they seek out does for breeding. During this time, bucks may engage in a behavior known as “rutting,” where they will compete with other males for access to females. Rutting can be quite aggressive, and males may engage in head-to-head combat using their antlers.

5 Common names of a male deer

A young male deer is commonly called a buck in hunting terminology. All male deer of the deer family, which includes white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, and others, are referred to by this word.

Male deer are also called by other names. Let’s analyze the names one by one.

1- Buck

The term “buck” originated from the Middle English word “bukke,” which referred to a male goat. Buck is commonly used for small to medium size deer. Some common species of deer that are referred to as buck are mule deer, white-tailed deer, Roe Deer, and Muntjac Deer. Hunters also use the word ”buck” for male deer. This word is not just associated with male deer only; some animals are also called bucks such as rabbits, antelopes, hares, etc. 

Bucks are larger, more muscularly built, and have antlers that are more noticeable than those of does, or female deer. Antlers are a distinguishing characteristic of male deer, which are utilized for defense against predators. 

2- Stag

Stag is used for red deer(Cervus elaphus) and Sika deer (Cervus nippon). Both these deer species are well known for their height, large antlers, and muscular body. The antlers of a stag can grow up to 3 ft. and weigh around 3kg. The majority of Europe, the Caucasus Mountains, Morocco, Tunisia, Iran, regions of western Asia, and central Asia are home to red deer.

3- Bull

Bull is used for the largest male deer species. A deer is not commonly referred to as a “bull” in general, as this term is typically used to describe male cattle. The name “bull” may, nevertheless, occasionally be used to describe a male deer, notably when referring to moose, wapiti, elk, and reindeer. All these deer species are common in USA and Canada.

4- Hart

The term “hart” is an archaic term that was commonly used to refer to male red deer, specifically one that is more than five years old. The term is derived from the Old English word “heorot,” used for male red deer. Red deer are the largest species of deer in Europe and Asia, and they are known for their impressive antlers, which can grow up to several feet long up to 4- 4.5 feet.

5- Fawn

Baby deer are called fawns. A deer is called a fawn when it is a young deer, typically less than a year old. The word “Fawn” can be used for both male and female deer. Fawns are mostly born in spring and have spotty coats, which aids in their natural habitat concealment. At roughly 2 to 4 months old, fawns are breastfed by their mothers, at which point they start eating solid food and exploring their environment independently.

Why do male deer fight?

male deer fighting

Although there are many other reasons why male deer fight, the most frequent one is to establish dominance and win the right to mate with females.

In species where males grow antlers, the antlers are used as weapons in these fights. Bucks will lock antlers and push against each other in a display of strength, with the winner often earning the right to mate with nearby females. These fights can be quite intense and can result in serious injuries. 

Male deer may also fight to defend their territory or resources like food or water. Bucks may become defensive and fights may start when other males attempt to enter their territory.

Are male deer born with antlers?


No, male deer are not born with antlers. Male deer are born with small bumps on their foreheads where their antlers will eventually grow. Antlers might take anywhere between 6 and 8 months to appear. These bumps, known as pedicles, are covered in a layer of skin called velvet, which helps to supply the growing antlers with nutrients and blood flow. As the antlers grow, they become more solid and the velvet begins to peel away.

Male deer grow and shed their antlers every year; they usually start to grow in the spring and are shed in late winter or early spring. The growth and shedding of antlers are regulated by hormones, and the size and shape of antlers can vary significantly depending on the species of deer and the age and health of the individual animal. Generally speaking, as male deer get older and mature sexually, their antlers get bigger and more complex.

Although male deer are distinguished by their antlers, not all deer species have antlers, and even among those that do, there may be wide variations in antler size and form.

How many male deer are in a herd?

The number of male deer in a herd can vary widely depending on the species of deer, the time of year, and other factors such as food availability and type of deer. Male deer are often more solitary than female deer, and they may gather in small groups of three to five or live alone for most of the year. 

Male deer also travel in form of a herd in search of females during rutting season. Around this period, it’s not unusual to observe bachelor herds of male deer traveling together in quest of females. In some deer species, like the white-tailed deer, male deer may also cluster in bigger groups called rutting groups or leks, where they engage in competition for access to neighboring females.

The number and composition of deer herds can alter depending on a variety of factors, such as habitat quality, hunting pressure, and other environmental factors. In areas where hunting is most prevalent, the quantity and make-up of herds may even be limited.

When do male deer grow and shed their antlers?

The time of antler growth and shedding varies based on the species of deer and other environmental conditions in male deer every year. Antlers typically start to grow in the spring and are shed the next year in the late winter or early spring. While some deer species like to lose their antlers in early March, others prefer to do it in December.

Depending on the deer species, the age, and health of the individual deer, as well as external factors like climate and food availability, the precise timing of antler growth and shedding might vary.

Overall, the male deer’s annual cycle includes the growth and shedding of antlers, which has a significant impact on their social and reproductive behavior.

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What is a male whitetail deer called?

Whitetail deer are called bucks. One of the most widespread deer species in North America, they are distinguished by their unique white tail, which they utilize to alert other deer to danger. Antlers are particularly conspicuous in male whitetail deer, and they develop and shed them each year as part of their social and reproductive activities.

In terms of hunting, male whitetail deer are frequently the hunters' first choice because they are seen to be a better food source than female deer and typically have longer antlers.

Are male deer aggressive?

While battling with other males to claim dominance during the breeding season, male deer can become hostile. Male deer may also occasionally view people or other animals as a danger and react by becoming violent.

Yet it's crucial to remember that male deer typically don't attack people unless they feel threatened or provoked. The majority of deer prefer to stay away from people and will run away if they feel threatened.

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