Individual characteristics

Does grow in body size for about 3 years, while bucks become full-grown in about 5 years. However, body growth is not uniform. It occurs in seasonal bursts interrupted by periods of weight loss, regardless of the food supply. Figure 3 illustrates the growth of a buck from weaning through 4 years of age.

Maximum antler size, as measured by the number of points and the spread, is reached by 4 years of age. Massiveness, as described by beam circumference, continues to increase with age until the deer’s teeth break down.

Fawns can attain puberty their first fall, but more commonly do so during their second fall as yearlings. However, they are likely to breed as yearlings only when nutritional conditions are good.