Fallow Deer

A fine trophy "Chocolate" Fallow buck. Taken with a Remington model 700 in 7mm Magnum using Winchester Fail Safe bullets: 160 grains. The East Cape region of South Africa not only has exotic Fallow Deer, but Aoudad/Barbary Sheep, Himalayan Tahr and Scimitar Oryx. Some local and exotic game can be found in the higher elevations of the surrounding mountains.

There is only one species of Fallow Deer (Dama dama) which is broken down into two distinct sub-species; the European Fallow ( Dama dama dama) and the Persian Fallow (Dama dama mesopotamica). It is the European sub-species which is found wild in Britain today and which these notes will concentrate upon. The Persian Fallow is now restricted to a small area in Iran and Iraq and there is debate amongst taxonomists over whether they are actually a sub-species or a species in their own right. There are some differences between the sub-species, for example the antlers of the Persian Fallow palmate nearer to the base and the tail coloration is slightly different. However, some Persian Fallow produce antlers matching those of the European and there is great variation amongst individual animals. Fossil evidence suggests that at one time the Persian and European Fallow ranges overlapped or were contiguous, although they are now totally separate. Hybridization between the two sub-species does occur in captivity producing fertile offspring, therefore they are best considered as sub-species of Dama dama.