Question: At this time of the year, late winter, whitetail does will be pregnant. I have been told by other deer hunters that a very high percentage will be carrying twin fawns and that twins will consist of 1 buck and 1 doe. I have enjoyed whitetail hunting for years, but have never thought about it. Is this sex ratio always the case in twin fawns. Can you confirm this fawn phenomenon in whitetail deer?
Answer: Whitetail are very prolific animals so twins are quite common. The number of fawns that a doe brings to term depends on the age of the doe and her body condition of her prior to breeding and during gestation. With regards to twins always being 1 buck and 1 doe, that is not always the case. I have seen twins that are the same sex, either both bucks or both does, as much as split I do split sexes.
Furthermore, triplet fawns can occur from time to time, and more often than most hunters think. Most does will have a single fawn their first time out of the gate, and then have twins from there on out as long as they are in good body condition and have the food resources for both themselves and gestation. Even though many does will have twins they may not always raise both if habitat/food is in limited supply.
We are still shooting does under our deer management program right now and I recently harvested a 7 month old doe fawn and she was already bred and carrying triplets! That would be a lot for a first time mother, so I doubt any of them would have survived even had she given birth to them all. I have also found fawn triplets in does in the past after harvest. I always like to check late season does to see if they had been bred. You can even determine when the deer rut took place based on fawn fetus size.