How to Identify a Female Deer

By Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor; Updated April 24, 2017
Antlers define male deer, though females may possess them.

How to Identify a Female Deer. Female deer, known as does, have a different appearance and behavior pattern than their male counterparts. Identifying a female deer may bring challenges, however, if you don't know what to look for. Follow these simple steps to help you accurately identify a female deer.

Notice the lack of antlers on a female deer, such as a female white-tailed deer or a female mule deer. While male deer have often large antlers; these antlers are absent in most species of female deer. Some female deer may have small antler stumps, however.

Estimate the size of a female deer. Female deer are smaller in weight and height than male deer. Female deer typically range from 50 to 250 pounds, and are approximately three feet tall when full grown.

Look for a female deer with its young (fawn). Female deer give birth to between one and three babies at a time, and these babies remain with their mother deer for up to a period of one year. Therefore, you will often see female deer with their young. Male deer, on the other hand, don't appear with their young, rather you can see them by themselves or with other male deer (bucks).

Attempt to look for evidence of teats or mammary glands. Female deer have four mammary glands and will nurse their fawn for about four months.

Tip

Note that female reindeer have antlers, unlike other female deer. Female deer are very protective of their young.