During most of the year, male and female deer self-segregate into small herds. In the fall or early winter, herds break up as the deer search for a mate. Then, in May or June, fawns are born --- usually one or two per doe.
Female groups consist of one to a few does and their offspring. Young bucks leave their mothers when they are a bit over a year old and travel outside the territory to live in a bachelor group. Daughter deer stick around longer, usually staying with their mothers for two years until they are ready to mate and give birth to their own fawns.
Deer pressure on the garden is usually greatest in fall and early winter as the newly enlarged female herds search for enough food to get their fawns through the winter. Due to overpopulation, many of the deer are literally starving in the autumn and are willing to eat just about anything they can find, including supposedly deer resistant plants. This makes fall the most dangerous time for gardeners trying to stay ahead of the deer!
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Last edited in the wee hours of Monday night, February 16th, 2010