What Is A Male Deer Called and What’s the Right Term? (Here’s the Correct Name!)

When you come across a group of deer while out on a hike in the woods, you may wonder, “What is a male deer called? Deer are elegant animals that live in woods and woodlands all around the globe. However, attempting to distinguish a male deer among the hundreds of different deer species found on different continents may be challenging. The names for male deer will be explained in this guide based on the deer’s age, species, and geographic location.

What is a Male Deer Called?

A male deer typically goes by the name “buck,” although you might also hear them referred to as “stags” for larger deer species, “bull” for the biggest of them, and even ancient phrases like “hart” used for male deer species. On the other hand, young deer are affectionately called fawns, and as they grow a bit older, they earn the title of yearlings. As for female deer, they are known as does, cows, or hinds. It’s important to understand, however, that a deer’s name may vary considerably depending on a number of variables, such as the deer’s size, age, and regional circumstances.

The scientific names given to each species of deer provide insight into the complex classification system used to identify these amazing creatures. In addition, different geographical areas and linguistic groups bring fascinating variants, as the South American “brocket” or the Indian “hangul.” Let’s go out on a voyage to investigate this fascinating world of deer names and learn more about the distinctive traits of male deer.

Common Names for a Male Deer

TermDefinitionExample Species
BuckMale deer, mature or immatureWhite-tailed deer, mule deer
StagMature male deer, large speciesRed deer, sika deer
BullVery large male deer speciesMoose, elk, caribou
HartOld English term for mature stagRed deer

Names for Male Deer by Age

AgeNameExample Species
NewbornBuck fawn, bull calfWhite-tailed deer, elk
1 yearYearlingMule deer, caribou
2-3 yearsBuck, bullWhite-tailed deer, moose
5+ yearsStag, hartRed deer, sika deer

Male Deer & Classification

Classifications of Male Deer
Classifications of Male Deer

Popular Male Deers


A buck is the title given to all male deer worldwide. Smaller deer species including white-tailed deer, mule deer, and roe deer are referred to by this word. Any male deer that has attained puberty and begun antler growth is subject to it.

Before becoming one year old and becoming yearlings, young male deer are known as buck fawns. They become known as “bucks” around the age of two when they start to acquire antlers and other adult-like traits.


Larger deer species like red deer and sika deer are referred to as stags. A mature male deer older than five years old with a striking pair of antlers is called a stag. Stags are stronger than the typical buck due to their bigger frame.

Stags become combative during mating season as they vie for the attention of females. They shout loudly and engage in antler fighting with other males.


The biggest deer species, including moose, elk, reindeer, and caribou, are referred to as bulls. A large male deer is referred to as a bull, much like cattle, bison, and other large bovine animals. They stand out from other deer due to their frightening weight and enormous antlers.


A mature stag is referred to as a “hart” in ancient English, which dates back to the Middle Ages. It was often used in literature and poetry to describe a red deer older than five years. Hart has a lengthy history of association with big male deer, although not being used now.

Regional Names for Male Deer

The names given to deer may also vary depending on the natural habitat’s language and culture. Here are some local names for male deer:

  • Brocket: Small deer species are known as brockets in Central and South America. The antlers of a male brocket deer are small and single-pointed, measuring less than six inches. Brockets include animals from the jungle, such the red brocket deer.
  • Hangul: The Indian term for the Kashmir stag is hangul. It is a deer species that is endemic to northern India and Pakistan and is seriously threatened. Antlers of a hangul stag may be up to 15 inches long.
  • Wapiti: The name “wapiti” for the elk is used in Canada, and it comes from a Shawnee and Cree phrase that means “white rump.” Bull wapiti have enormous, five-foot-long antlers that may weigh up to 40 pounds apiece.

Names for Male Deer by Species

There is a scientific name for each species of deer, which may also be used to distinguish the males:

  • Coues Deer: Also known as Coues White-Tailed Deer, this little desert-dwelling species may be found in Mexico and the southwest United States. Odocoileus virginianus couesi is a male.
  • Key Deer: The Key deer, which may be found in the Florida Keys, is the smallest deer in North America. Odocoileus virginianus clavium is a male.
  • Père David’s Deer: Also known as the milu or Pere David’s deer, this Chinese species is extinct in the wild but is still present in captivity. Elaphurus davidianus refers to the species’ males.

As you can see, a male deer’s name depends on a variety of things. Age, species, location, and language are all relevant factors. You’ll be able to call a deer by its correct name the next time you see one.

Male Vs Female deer Names

Red deerStagDoe
Fallow deerBuckDoe
Roe deerBuckDoe
White-tailed deerBuckDoe
Mule deerBuckDoe

What is the difference between a buck and a stag?

Male deer may be referred to by the names “buck” or “stag,” but they have several key distinctions:

  • A stag is a mature male deer that is at least five years old, as opposed to a buck, which is a male deer of any age.
  • White-tailed, mule, and roe deer are among the lesser deer species, and buck is the term used for them. Larger deer like elk, red deer, and sika deer are often referred to as stags.
  • In comparison to bucks, stags often have bigger, more magnificent sets of antlers.
  • Stags are stronger and more aggressive because of their larger frames, particularly during the breeding season.

In present use, the terms “buck” and “stag” are more often used in North America and Europe, respectively. However, the phrases are sometimes used in the same sentence.

About Male deer

Male deer are generally called bucks. They have antlers and are often stronger and bigger than female deer. Male deer utilize their antlers, which are bone growths on their heads, to defend themselves, compete for dominance, and attract females.

Bucks are the male deer’s name. They have antlers and are often stronger and bigger than female deer. Male deer utilize their antlers, which are bone growths on their heads, to defend themselves, compete for dominance, and attract females.

Deer male with antlers

There are many distinct types of deer, and buck may be found anywhere. Deer species that are among the most prevalent include:

  • White-tailed deer
  • Mule deer
  • Red deer
  • Fallow deer
  • Roe deer
  • Elk
  • Moose

Bucks are essential to the deer environment. They support the management of plant and animal populations. Hunting aids in controlling deer numbers, and buck species are also popular game animals.

Here are some fascinating details on male deer:

  • Every year, bucks lose their antlers, and the next year they grow again.
  • A buck’s age, health, and genetics all have a role in the size and form of its antlers.
  • Bucks compete for dominance and mate attraction using their antlers.
  • Bucks spend the most of the year alone; but, during the breeding season, they congregate.
  • During the mating season, bucks often mate with many does.
  • Bucks don’t help raise their young.

Identifying a Male Deer: Characteristics and Traits

How can you truly recognize a male deer in the wild after you know its several names. Here are the biological characteristics and distinguishing characteristics of a male deer.


An established set of antlers is the most noticeable indicator. Every year, starting in the spring, male deer develop new antlers. Full maturity is finished by the autumn, just in time for breeding season. Different species have different antler sizes and shapes:

  • White-tailed deer have antlers with a primary beam and several points emerging from it. Tine is the name for points.
  • Mule deer antlers have numerous points that branch or fork off into two or more tines.
  • Caribou, elk, and moose all develop enormous, widely distributed antlers that may weigh up to 40 pounds.

Male deer less than a year old without antlers are only fully developed as little bony lumps. The fastest method to tell if a deer is male or female is to look for antlers.

SpeciesAntler Description
White-tailed deerAntlers have individual tines sprouting from main beam
Mule deerAntlers fork and branch into multiply tines
MooseMassive, wide-spreading antlers up to 6 ft wide
ElkLarge antlers up to 4 ft long with 6+ points on each

Muscular Neck and Body

Male deer get robust necks and shoulders as they become older, and they also get a stocky build. In order to develop enormous antlers and engage in competition during mating season, they need to have more muscle. Additionally, males get longer manes of hair around their necks.

Bucks and stags seem more stocky than does due to their muscular physique. A doe’s thin head and neck give it a daintier appearance.

Weight and Size

Deer males often outweigh deer females in size. White-tailed deer weigh between 90 and 200 pounds for females and 150 to 300 pounds for males. Largest bulls of moose, elk, and caribou may reach more than 1,000 pounds.

Males may be distinguished from smaller, leaner females by their heavier body weight and taller, bulkier build.

Genitalia and Urination

Male deer vary significantly from female deer in terms of both physical characteristics and genitalia. A deer with antlers and male genitalia is certain to be a buck or bull since only males have antlers.

In order to indicate their area, bucks and bulls pee differently than does by spraying urine backward. Does urinate between their legs, forward.

Male Deer Behavior and Life Stages

The behavior of a male deer gives further hints about its identity. Over the course of their existence, as people age, actions and activities alter.


A buck fawn or bull calf is the name for a young male deer. Fawns, regardless of gender, exhibit similar habits throughout their first few weeks of life. The majority of their time is spent napping and breastfeeding. Fawns also have birthmarks that vanish throughout the course of the first year.

Fawns cling to their moms for protection and safety. If a predator approaches her fawn, a doe will become very protective and aggressive.


A man is referred to as a yearling after one year. Around this time, yearling bucks molt their first set of tiny antlers. Unlike the bigger, branching antlers of mature adults, their juvenile antlers only have single points.

Yearlings abandon their moms as they get closer to 18 months of age and join groups of young males in search of safety in numbers. Antler fighting begins to gain control.

Adult Mature Bucks

At about 2-3 years old, a male deer begins to grow into a buck. They begin to develop their first set of adult, multi-pointed antlers at that time. With the exception of the mating season, mature bucks travel alone. To denote their boundaries, they scratch the ground and rub tree bark.

Additionally, while competing for mates, bucks engage in aggressive and territorial behaviors including confrontational posturing. To frighten smaller males, they display their rack and create scraping noises with their antlers.

Deer Antler Facts

Antlers on deer are distinctive animal features that grow every year. The following amazing details concerning their quick development and biology:

  • During their peak development, antlers may grow up to an inch quicker than any other bone. In 10 to 12 weeks, they may attain their full size.
  • Blood vessels and nerves may be seen within the velvet covering of antlers that are still developing. Antlers have no nerves or blood flow after they have hardened.
  • Antlers start off as cartilage and gradually ossify into bone as they grow. Deposits of calcium and phosphorus mineralize the tissue.
  • The testosterone levels of male deer with the biggest, most elaborate antlers are often greater. They put more effort towards expanding their racks.
  • The typical adult buck weighs 30-35 pounds in antler bone. Antlers on male moose and elk species may weigh up to 40 pounds apiece.
  • Age, diet, and genetics all affect the size and form of antlers. The largest racks are developed by older men in their prime who eat a diet high in nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a male deer called a stag?

The name “stag” is often used to designate adult male deer, particularly within the context of the red deer species, therefore yes, a male deer may absolutely be called a “stag.” Male deer of other species, such as fallow and sika deer, may also be affected. The name “stag” is often reserved for older and more mature male deer, but “buck” is a more inclusive phrase that may be used for male deer of any age.

What is called male and female deer?

The nomenclature for female deer may vary depending on the species and size. A male deer is termed a “buck,” while a female deer is sometimes called a “doe.” Females of bigger species, such as red deer, are referred to as “hinds,” but smaller female deer are often referred to as “does.” It’s important to note that the word “hind” is also used, particularly for red deer. Additionally, the word “cow” is used to refer to female deer in other species, such as reindeer. Therefore, a deer’s unique name relies on things like its species and local jargon.

Why is a male deer called a buck?

The Old English word “bucca,” which originally referred to male goats, is probably where the name “buck” comes from. This phrase eventually started to refer to male deer as well. Old English word “bucan,” which means “to swell” or “to enlarge,” is another possible source. This term may have been used to refer to the fact that male deer have antlers that swell and grow throughout the mating season. Regardless of its exact derivation, the word “buck” is now often used to refer to male deer of all ages and deer species.

What is a male doe?

It is a contradiction to say that a male doe doesn’t exist. While “buck” refers to a male deer, “doe” exclusively refers to a female deer. Over time, these terms evolved to describe female and male deer of various ages and species, and they continue to be the standard terminology for identifying the sexes of deer. “Doe” comes from the Old English term for “female deer,” and “buck” comes from the Old English word for “male goat.”

Is stag a female deer?

No, a stag is a male deer, specifically an adult male red deer. It is not a female deer. The right name for a female deer is “doe.” While “stag” may also be used to refer to male deer of other species, such as fallow deer and sika deer, “buck” is a more inclusive phrase that can be used to refer to male deer of any age. Typically, the term “stag” is used to refer to older, more mature male deer. However, in other situations, it may also be used to refer to a gathering of male deer, with “stag party” being a term for a bachelor party attended by males.

What is mother of stag called?

The mother of a stag is called a “hind”, especially in the context of red deer, although the phrase may also be used to refer to female deer of other species, such as fallow and sika deer. Hinds normally give birth to one or two fawns at a time, and they are very important in nurturing their young, known as fawns. They provide vital survival skills to their young, teaching them how to locate food, avoid predators, and survive in the environment. They are very protective of their weak young. Hinds stay with their fawns for nearly a year, making substantial contributions to the deer environment, assisting in the management of plant and animal populations, and often acting as sought-after game in hunting activities.

What is a male white-tailed deer called?

The term “buck” refers to a male white-tailed deer over the age of two with branching antlers, whereas younger males under two are referred to as “buck fawns” or “yearlings” until they reach the age of one. Although “buck” is still the most well known and understood word for a male white-tailed deer throughout the areas where they are found, other names like “tom” or “Tommy” are used in certain locations.

What is a male mule deer called?

Mule deer are the biggest deer species in western North America and are referred to as “bucks” when they are adult males. Larger mule-like ears, black-tipped tails, and antlers that fork and branch rather than sprout individual points set these males apart from white-tailed bucks. Buck mule deer normally start developing their first forked antlers at about 15 months old, and as they mature, these antlers become bigger and more branched.

What is a male red deer called?

Unlike other deer species, red deer males are referred to as “stags” rather than “bucks,” and unlike other deer species, red deer are not classified as smaller deer species. The remarkable multi-point antlers on these stags begin to develop at the age of three, and some of them may have antlers with a dozen or more points. Red deer stags strive for supremacy during the fall breeding season by roaring and clashing antlers, which aids them in luring the most females in their herd for mating.

What is a baby male deer called?

A newborn male deer is referred to as a “bull calf” for bigger deer species like elk, moose, reindeer, and red deer or a “buck fawn” for smaller to medium-sized deer species including white-tailed deer, mule deer, and roe deer. During their first few months of life, these young boys exhibit the same spotted coats and mannerisms as female fawns and calves. They normally lose their spots and start developing their first set of antlers around the age of one.

How can you tell a male deer from a female deer?

There are numerous crucial traits to look for in order to differentiate between male and female deer. In contrast to females, known as does, who, with the exception of caribou, lack antlers, male deer, also known as bucks, normally acquire antlers every spring that reach full size by autumn. In addition to having thicker necks and shoulders, wider foreheads, bigger hooves, larger leg bones, and larger hip bones than females, bucks have a stockier body and a blockier head form. In addition, unlike does, male white-tailed deer have tarsal glands on their legs for scent marking. Males exhibit distinctive actions during the rut, or mating season, including scraping markings, wallowing in mud, rubbing antlers on trees, and participating in conflicts with other males to assert dominance.


You now know what a male deer is called, so use that knowledge Of Deer Terminology when you go in the woods. The common correct term is a buck, however the terms used to refer to male deer might change depending on the situation. For instance, a male deer that is at least one year old and has antlers that are visible above the hairline is sometimes referred to as a “buck” in hunting. A male deer that is at least two years old and has fully formed antlers is referred to as a “stag” in comparison. Depending on the species, male deer are often referred to as Bucks or Stags in scientific settings.

James Ellis

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