NO species of animals makes so near an approach to another as the fallow deer to that of the stag.  But though their similarity be great in every respect, they fly from each other, never intermix, and, of course, give rise to no intermediate race.  It is even rare to find fallow deer in a country much frequented by stags, unless they are industriously transported into it.  Their nature seems to be less rustic and robust than that of the stag; and they are likewise less common in the forests.  They are kept in parks [113] where they may be said to be half domestic.  More of them are reared in England than in any other country of Europe; and the English are extremely fond of their venison.  The dogs also prefer the flesh of this deer to that of all other animals; and, after they have once eat of it, they are extremely apt, in the chace [sic] of the stag or roe deer, to change their course when they perceive the scent of the fallow deer.  In some provinces of France, and in the neighbourhood of Paris, there are fallow deer, as also in Spain and Germany.  Those of America were probably transported from Europe.  It seems to be an animal peculiar to temperate climates; for there are none in Russia, and they are seldom met with in Sweden or other northern countries.*


            The stags are more generally diffused over Europe; they are even found in Norway, and all the northern regions, Lapland, perhaps, excepted.  They are also frequent in Asia, especially in Tartary,+ and the northern provinces of China.  They are likewise found in America; for those of Canada3 differ from ours only in the length of their horns, and the direction of [114] their antlers,* which is sometimes not straight, as in the common stag, but turned backward, so that the end of each points to the stem of the horns.  But this form of the horns is not absolutely peculiar to the stag of Canada; for we find similar horns engraven in la Venerie de du Fouilloux;+ and those of the Corsican stag have straight antlers; which is a sufficient proof that the Canadian stag is only a variety, to which stags of all countries are subject.  There are likewise horns which have a number of antlers on their summits, in forms of a crown.  These are rarely found in France; but, says Du Fouilloux,3 they come from Russia and Germany.  This is only another variety, and not a different species from the common kind.  Hence, in Canada, as well as in France, most stags have straight antlers; but in the former, they are larger and thicker; because they find, in these uninhabited regions, more nourishment and repose than in populous countries.  There are large and small stags in America, as well as in Europe.  But, however generally this species is diffused, it seems to be limited to cold and temperate climates.  The stags of Mexico and South America, those of Cayenne, those called Gange stags, mentioned in M. Perrault’s memoirs, un- [115] der the name of Sardinian hinds, those denominated Cape stags, and those of Guiney, and other warm countries, belong not to the common species, as will appear when the particular history of each is given.


            As the fallow deer is less savage, more delicate, and approaches nearer to the domestic state than the stag, he is also subject to a greater number of varieties.  Besides the common and the white fallow deer, there are several other varieties, as those of Spain, which are nearly as large as the stag; but their neck is not so thick, and their colour is darker, with a blackish tail, not white below, and longer than that of the common kind; those of Virginia, which are almost as large as those of Spain, and remarkable for the great size of their genital organs:  Others have a compressed forehead, ears and tail longer than those of the common fallow deer, and marked with a white spot upon the hoofs of the hind feet; others are spotted with white, black, and yellow; and others are entirely black.  All these have their horns flatter, broader, and better garnished with antlers than those of the stag; they likewise incline more inwardly, and are more palmated at the points; and, when the horns are very strong, the largest antlers are sometimes terminated by small palms.  The tail of the common fallow deer is longer than that of the stag, and its hair is brighter.  The horns of the fallow deer shed, like those of the stag; [116] but they fall off later, and are renewed nearly at the same time.  Their rutting season arrives fifteen days or three weeks after that of the stag.  The males then bellow frequently, but with a low and interrupted voice.  They are not so furious as the stag, nor exhaust themselves by rutting.  They never depart from their won country in quest of females; but they dispute and fight for the possession of their mistresses.  They associate in herds, which almost always keep together.  When there is a great number in one park, they generally form themselves into two distinct troops, which soon become hostile, because they both wish to occupy the same part of the inclosure.  Each of these troops has its own chief, who marches foremost; and he is always the oldest and strongest of the flock.  The others follow him; and the whole draw up in order of battle, to force the other troop from the best pasture.  The order with which these combats are conducted is very singular.  They make regular attacks, fight with courage, mutually support each other, and never think themselves vanquished by a single check; for the battle is daily renewed, till the weaker are completely defeated, and obliged to remain in the worst pasture.  They love elevated and hilly countries.  When chaced [sic], they run not out, like the stag, but double, and endeavour to conceal themselves from the dogs by artifice, and by substituting another animal in their place.  However, when [117] fatigued and heated, they take the water, but never attempt to cross such extensive rivers as the stag.  Thus, between the chace of the fallow deer and stag, there is no material difference. Their knowledge and instincts, their shifts and doublings, are the same, only they are more frequently practiced by the fallow deer.  As he is less enterprising, and runs not so far before the dogs, he has oftener occasion to change, or substitute another in his place, to double, return upon his former tracts, &c. which renders the hunting of the fallow deer more subject to inconveniencies than that of the stag.  Besides, as he is smaller and lighter, the impressions of his feet upon the ground are slighter, and the branches he knocks off from the trees with his horns are smaller.  Hence the dogs are less apt to observe the change, or substitution of another animal, and it is more difficult to bring them into the scent when at fault.


            The fallow deer is very easily tamed, and eats many substances which are rejected by the stag.  He likewise preserves his fat or venison much better; for he is not rendered meagre by rutting, though followed by the longest and severest winters; and he is nearly in the same condition during the whole year.  He brouzes [sic] closer than the stag, which makes the trees or bushes cut by him more difficult to shoot than those cut by the stag.  The young fallow deer eat quicker, and with more avidity than the old.  They rumi- [118] [PLATE LIV here] [PLATE LV here] nate; they search for the females in their second year, and attach not themselves to one, like the roe buck, but love variety, like the stag.  The female goes with young eight months and some days.  Like the hind, she produces one, sometimes two, and very rarely three fawns.  They are capable of engendering and producing from the age of two to that of fifteen or sixteen years.  Lastly, the fallow deer resemble the stag in almost all their natural dispositions and habits; the greatest difference between these two animals consists in the duration of their lives.  We formerly remarked, from the testimony of huntsmen, that the stag lives thirty-five or forty years; and, from the same authority, we learn that the fallow deer live only about twenty years.  AS they are smaller, it is probable that their growth is sooner accomplished than that of the stag; because, in all animals, the duration of life is proportioned to the time of growing, and not to the time of gestation; for here the time of gestation is the same.  Besides, in other species, as that of the ox, though the time of gestation be long, the duration of life is short.  Of course, we ought not to measure the duration of life by the time of gestation, but by that of the growth, reckoning from birth nearly to the full expansion of the body.* [119]       



*  The horns of the fallow deer are palmated at their ends, and branched on the hinder side.  It has two slender brow antlers, and above them two slender branches.  The colour of this deer is various, being reddish, deep brown, white, or spotted. 

            In Greek, [a word in Greek letters I can’t reproduce]; in Latin, Dama; in Italian, Daino; in Spanish, Daino, Corza; in German, Dam-birsch; in Swedish, Dos, Dos-hiort; in Polish, Lanii.

            Euriceros Appiani.

            Platyceros Plinii.

            Dama vulgaris; Adrov. Quad. bifulc. p. 741.

            Dama vulgaris sive recentiorum; Gesner. Icon. anim. quad. p. 51.

            Cervus platyceros; Raii synops. quad. p. 85.        

            Cervus dama, cornibus ramosis, recurvatis, compressis; summitate palmate; Lynn. Syst. nat. p. 93.

            Carrus palmatus, Dama-cervus; Klein. quad. hist. nat. p. 25 [back to page 113].


*  Linn. Faun. Suec.

+  Description de l’Inde, par Marc Paul, liv. 1. p. 38.  Lettres edifiantes, recueil 26. p. 371.

3.  The Canadian stag is precisely the same with that of France; description de la Nouv. France, par Charlevoix, tom. 13. p. 129 [back to page 114].


*  See the figure of the Canadian stag, in l’hist des animaux, par M. Perrault.

+  La Venerie de Jacques du Fouilloux, p. 22.

3.  Ibid. p. 20 [back to page 115].


*  For a few supplementary remarks on the fallow deer, see the article Axis [back to page 119].