The Fallow Deer (Cervus dama or Dama vulgaris), Fig. 60, is about 3 ft. high at the shoulder, and is easily distinguished from the stag by its spotted coat, longer tail, and palmated horns. In summer both the male (buck) and female (doe) have the back, flanks, and thighs of a fulvous brown colour, with numerous white spots; in winter these parts are wholly brown; the buttocks are always white with a black streak on either side; a dark line passes along the back; the belly, inside of the limbs and under-surface of the throat are white. The young fallow-deer is called a fawn, the second year a pricket, the third year a buck of the first head.

Fallow-deer exist in this country only in a semi-wild state, having, it is said, been introduced by James I, at that time James VI of Scotland. Large numbers of fallow-deer are kept in parks, where they congregate in large herds, a large buck always taking the lead, and suffering none but a few favourite does to approach his regal presence, all the other bucks running away directly he makes his appearance. Though generally tame and suffering people to come very close to them, fallow-deer, like red-deer, will not allow any one to approach their domains at certain times (rutting and fawning). Their flesh is excellent, and far superior to that of the red-deer. The skin furnishes excellent leather, and the horns, besides producing ammonia or hartshorn, are made into knife-handles and other articles.

Fallow-deer are similar in proclivities for inflicting injury as red-deer, but differ in being:

1. More restless and dainty in grazing, hence they commit more damage by nibbling young growth, and trampling under foot, especially recently-introduced trees.

2. Less prone to gnawing and stripping the bark off saplings, this only occurring in deer-parks, or very seldom in forests.

3. Later in fraying the velvet from the antlers, yet, like red-deer, selecting uncommon species of trees as fraying posts.

The Fallow Deer.

Fig. 60. - The Fallow Deer.