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Thursday, December 11, 2008

 

Fallow Deer: Is there a standard color for this species?

For many hunters a Fallow deer seems like a bit of a strange species. Most hunters are used to hunting deer and being able to tell immediately what it is because there is only one possible coloration and pattern on the coat. The Fallow deer, however, actually has four separate and distinct color variations. Each is unique in its own way, but they are all the same type and species of deer. There are typically only three color variations seen in Texas and they are described below:

Melanistic – this is the darkest of the colors. It is an almost pure black coat coloration, sometimes black to very, very deep brown, with a white rump patch. Often this very dark coated Fallow deer is mistaken for a Sika deer at first glance.

White – likely the most commonly seen color variation, white coated Fallow deer are not albinos, they are a true white. The coat can range from a creamy color through to a champagne and white color. Unlike a true albino the eyes and skin are the normal color, not pink like you may expect.

Menil – this color variation includes a darker fawn color with white spots in the summer and a brownish gray coloration during the winter months. The heavier winter coat may retain some of the brown color or may be almost completely gray.

The fourth color variation is lighter than the menil with the spots almost never present during the winter months.

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