Roe Deer (capreolous capreolous)

Portugal – Roe Deer Hunting

  • Order: Artiodactyls
  • Family: Cervidae
  • Genre: Capreolus
  • Species: Capreolus Capreolus (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Average weight: Between 15 and 30 kg, the average being 20-21 kg.


Species whose ability to adapt is undoubtedly the most notable, is the smallest of Portuguese cervid, graceful but compact in appearance.

Mostly active during the night and the end of the day, the greater part of the remaining time is spent in the covered, eating or resting; this fact, together with the aloof behavior that characterizes it, as well as the type of terrain in which it is usually found, makes these animals difficult to see, even by the people who go to the places inhabited by them.

Compared to the deer – among our deer undoubtedly the best known – the roe deer is a rather smaller animal, varying its weight between 15 and 30 kg; their frames are also smaller and less branched: generally the adult animal frame does not reach more than three points on each rod, the animal is then said to have a six-headed head. Contrary to what can happen to deer, the doe’s frame does not give us precise indication of the age of the animal because the number of points, as well as the general appearance of the head, depend more on factors such as nutrition, health status, number of animals per hectare, among others, than age itself.

With regard to sexual dimorphism, it is especially evident that, just as in deer and nogamo, only males have a frame. However, during the time of year when males do not have frames or even in situations of difficult visibility, it is possible to distinguish the male from the female by the form of the anal shell: in the male it is kidney-shaped and in the female it is in the form of heart.

Eminently elusive, the roe deer is best found in areas where vegetation is characterized by alternating woods and meadows, with crops and weed areas of varying density and height. Though timid and distrustful, it is not uncommon to find roe deers in the neighborhoods of settlements, provided there is proper shelter nearby. This approach is due to the search – for food – of the crops that are normally located around the villages. In any case, the damage caused by these animals is not, except for very rare exceptions, sensitive, since in addition to preferring to eat here and there, roe deers also depend heavily on shrub vegetation, such as gesta, heather, brambles and other shrubs The fruits found on the ground (chestnut, acorn, cherry, etc.), as well as some mushrooms, are also part of the feeding of these animals.

In the behavioral and reproductive aspect, the differences between this species and the other Portuguese cervids are not great. The roe deer is an animal fundamentally solitary, not forming – in our country – herds, even during the winter; In the case of males, there is a phase of the life cycle – usually begun in March with the cleaning of the velvet covering the stems – which corresponds to the delimitation of an area of ​​variable size, through the secretion of special glands and marks made with stems on shrubs and young trees; the male then defends this area, the territory, of the other adult males. This type of behavior continues until the cio, that in Portugal takes place between July and August. Births usually occur in May; the abnormally long gestation of deer (10 months) is explained by the phenomenon of delayed implantation, which is reduced to the stoppage of egg development soon after fertilization, starting again only in December / January (the embryo only measures 2 cm) the process then proceeding in a normal way to the parisons, which will thus occur in an especially favorable season in food terms.

Females can have the first creation at the age of 2 years. Stop with a few times two chicks (of different sexes), sometimes only one baby and rarely three (the older females).

THE APPROACH is one of the most exciting and sporting larger hunting processes compared to other processes. Through it the hunter has the possibility to move freely through the hunting grounds, enjoying all the environment that surrounds him, but always trying to glimpse the slightest and distant movements or details that may not make directly part of the surroundings. This is the hunting process par excellence for this species.