Identifying Our Different Deer

Research has shown that Lincolnshire could be the only county in England to have all six of our deer species living in the wild. However, there are three species of deer living widely in the county.

It is most likely that you will see the marks in the ground they make and their dropping when you are out in the countryside or even in your garden. These marks are called slots. The slots vary dramatically depending on the different animals size.

Try this identification mini Quiz.

fallow droppings
Can you identify the different deer from the footprints and droppings they leave behind?
roe droppings
Guess First, then click onto the picture
muntjac droppings
Did you get it right, Read On!!

Roe Deer Photograph supplied by Wildlife Photographer

Here is more information about the deer we have here in Lincolnshire and the History of wild deer in the county

Fallow Deer
Muntjac Deer
Roe Deer
Fallow Deer
Muntjac Deer
Roe Deer
HEIGHT – Up to 1m at shoulder, browses to 1.8m, frays to 80cm
HEIGHT – Up to 50cm at shoulder, browses to 1.1m, frays to 40cm
HEIGHT – Up to 75cm at shoulder, browses to 1.1m, frays to 50cm
PELAGE – Very variable. Types usually found:

Common: chestnut with white spots in summer: winter, dark brown and unspotted. All year, light-coloured area round tail, edged with black. Light tail with black stripe.

Black: all year, black shading to greyish brown. No light coloured tail patch or spots.

Menil: spots more distinct than common in summer with no black round rump patch or on tail. In winter, spots still clear, on daeker brown ground.

White: (not albino) fawns cream coloured, adults become pure white especially in winter. Dark eyes and nose. No spots.

PELAGE – Summer: bright chestnut; chin throat and underside tail white; no spots. Winter: deep brown to grey.
PELAGE – Summer: bright red-brown; pale below; no spots; rump patch lemon yellow or buff to white; nose black; chin white; no visible tail. Winter: dark brown to grey; thicker; rump white, hairs erectile on alarm; sometimes white patches on throat.
VOICE – Does and fawns communicative, with high piping nasal cry. Does have gruff alarm bark. In the rut mature bucks groan and rhythmic belch.
VOICE – A harsh persistent yapping bark often continued for many minutes.
VOICE – Both sexes bark like a small dog in alarm or challenge. Barking may continue for up to a minute but not prolonged like Muntjac.
IDENTIFICATION – Roe and Muntjac are much smaller with no spots. Fallow Bucks have flattened (palmated) antlers.
IDENTIFICATION – Distinguish from Roe by typical hunched stance. Long tail, short legs. Muntjac bucks have short antlers up to 15cm(6in) on long pedicles.
IDENTIFICATION – Distinguish from Muntjac by upright stance, long pointed ears, no visible tail. Roebucks typically have six pointed antlers.
HABITAT – Ideally, deciduous or mixed woodland interspersed with farmland. Plantations at thicket stage usually avoided.
HABITAT – Thick undergrowth.
HABITAT – Woodland, preferably with open patches.
BREEDING – One fawn each year.
BREEDING – All year round 1-2 fawns each year.
BREEDING – One or two kids each year.
ORIGIN – Introduced by the Normans to parks and estates from France.
ORIGIN – Introduced to Bedfordshire in early 1900s from China.
ORIGIN – Native.
DIET – Grass, crops, herbs, woody browse, acorns and mast.
DIET – Bramble, herbs, nuts and fruits, coppice shoots, flowers.
DIET – Herbs, bramble, woody browse, grass, crops.
HABITS – Groups or herds, often shelter in woods and feed on fields. Damage to farm crops, woodland shrubs and ground flora can be locally severe.
HABITS – Solitary, in dense woodland cover. Often feeds in gardens. Damages trees, farm crops, woodland shrubs and ground flora.
HABITS – Solitary or in small groups in woodland. Sometimes feeds in fields. Often damages trees, sometimes arable crops.


If you haven’t seen the "slots" or the droppings you might have seen the damage they can cause, here are a few examples which you might recognise. When you are out in woodlands look out for these signs that deer are about

Roe fraying
Browsing damage
Look out for these types of damage when
you’re in the woods
Bark Stripping
Willow Coppice Damage
Browsing damage
Browsing of Blue Bell Wood by Muntjac
Grazing of Farm Crops by Muntjac
Fallow Deer Browse Line
Browse Damage to Norway Spruce

Click Here to find out more about the impact of deer on the countryside