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ilsmokepoler's picture
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Definition of "yearling"?

Exactly how old is a "yearling" whitetail? I've always called 1-1/2 year old deer "yearlings" and if they are born that same year (6-8 months old by hunting season) I call them "fawns". But sometimes I hear or read 6 month old deer called yearlings" and "fawns" only if they have spots. Which is it? Thanks! 

groovy mike's picture
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Just my humble opinion

I don't know if there is a real definition on this - but my opinion is that 'yearling' refers to any deer bigger than a fawn and under two years old ie - any of them that are in their first year.  

That definition brings into question what qualifies as a fawn.  I'd call any deer under six months old or less than three quarters of teh size of an adult deer a fawn.  In my mind if a deer is close to the size of an adult deer but less than breeding age they are a yearling. 

Note that this might include referring to a very early spring fawn with good feed that has grown big by midwinter of year number one.  But if they have spots or are half the size of an adult then they are fawns to me no nmatter how many months have passed.  While deer that are three quarters grown as compared to teh size of an adult deer right on up to their second winter I refer to them progressively through that chronology as 'big fawns' , yearlings. and 'last years fawns', then just plain DEER!

I'm not saying that I am using technically correct terminology.  I'm just telling you what I use when I'm talking about them.  It will be interesting to see how other folks respond to this one since we all think we are talking about the same thing when we use the same words but that might not necessarily be the case.  Confused

hunter25's picture
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I have always gone with what

I have always gone with what you described in your original defenition. If it was born this year it's a fawn and if it was born last year it's a yearling. I guess that's just the way my dad always said it so it works for me as well. So basically a spike or forkie buck would be a yearling and a button buck would be a fawn. Bigger than that is too old to be a yearling.

SGM
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I agree with Mike and Hunter,

I agree with Mike and Hunter, no true defenition on the terms and I think local customs tend to say what they are. For me it is, if it was born this year it's a fawn and if it was born last year it's a yearling.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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I go with exactly what you

I go with exactly what you said smokepole. If it is last year's fawn, 1 1/2 year old, it is a "yearling".  If it was born this year, it is a fawn. 

Retired2hunt's picture
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  Okay I will make it

 

Okay I will make it unanimous here and coming from a completely different area of the US the definition so to speak remains as you and the other posters have described.  This is what Dad taught me and what I have passed along to my sons and those I teach the sport of hunting to.

 

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tomatoe/tomatoe

For me; born that calendar year = fawn

Less than 2yr old = yearling

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