XENIA, OHIO - Hunters along the Clinton and Warren County border have sighted several fallow deer in recent weeks according to biologists of the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Fallow deer are native to Europe but are commonly raised for meat and preserve hunting in the United States.
The common fallow deer has a brown coat with irregular white spots that are most pronounced in summer with a much darker coat in the winter. Some are lighter colored, almost white and others very dark, even black. The most distinctive feature of the fallow deer is the male's antlers. Broad, flat, palmate antlers grace each buck's head. They resemble a hand with widespread fingers pointing backwards. Females, like white-tailed deer, usually do not have antlers. Fallow deer are mainly grazers, but will browse herbs, leaves, acorns, young deciduous shoots, and crops like sugar beets.
The fallow deer are reportedly escapees from a propagator in Warren County. Both fallow bucks and does have been observed according to reports. This deer is not native to Ohio and there is no restricted season or bag limit. Hunters are encouraged to harvest them while out in the field. As with any non-native species it is important to quickly limit their populations to control spread of disease and competition with native Ohio wildlife.
A valid hunting license and permit is required while deer hunting in Ohio. Hunters are not required to tag fallow deer. Hunters are asked to report the harvest of fallow deer to the local wildlife officer or wildlife management staff at the Wildlife District Five Headquarters in Xenia at (937) 372-9261.
For more information on non-native wildlife or hunting regulations visit www.wildohio.com .