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FALLOW DEER

European Fallow Deer are the most widely kept deer in the world. The Mediterranean region of southern Europe and Asia is the animal's traditional home. Today, they are found on all inhabited continents. George Washington is said to have brought the first Fallow Deer into the United States, where they graced his Mount Vernon estate. It is no surprise that Fallow Deer were among the first exotics released on Texas ranches. Fallow Bucks in good condition weigh about 175-225 pounds but lose 20-50 pounds while rutting. Does weigh 80-90 pounds. They stand 36-38 inches tall and look longer. Their heads are long, their necks look thin, and their tails hand limply. Both males and females sport a prominent Adams apple. Their coats often look long and ragged. Centuries of semi-domestication have allowed a multitude of color variations. The four most frequent are: common, menil, black, and white. Common - rust with white rump patch and belly and white spots. This color form probably gave the fallow it's name. In Old English, "fealou" means pale brown or reddish yellow. Aside from their color variations, the main attraction of Fallow Deer are the bucks' large palmate antlers. The world's record antlers measure 37 2/5 inches. Although Fallow Deer do much of their feeding in grassy areas, they are often considered forest deer, and tree cover with undergrowth is essential for shelter and winter food.