Why Do Female Deer Chase Each Other – Female Zealous Nature


Have you ever seen female deer chasing each other? Perhaps it leaves you wondering and asking questions like, why do female deer chase each other? Sometimes, female deer can be a bit rude and aggressive towards other female deer and bucks.  Especially, when trying to establish dominance, female deer might display ear drops, give hard looks, show certain body postures, and even stamp their front foot.

Observing their behavior, we already know that while staying in a herd, female deer have various reasons to chase each other. So, is it just a fun game they play? Well, to find out exactly what drives them to pull this behavior requires an intense discussion that unfolds the mystery behind it. In this article, we have shared and discussed various reasons and the factors that play a vital role in driving certain triggers such as chasing, protection, survival tactics, and much more.

Key Takeaways

  • Answering the question requires a whole discussion including some important factors to unfold the reason female deer chase each other.
  • Take notes of their communication signals and try to examine through to understand their behavior.
  • The factors that influence female deer to chase each other would help you to function better with them in the wild.

5 Reasons Why Female Deer Chase Each Other

Female deer engage in various behaviors such as chasing, following, and fighting each other, while male deer typically chase females for mating purposes. These interactions serve multiple purposes, including the expression of dominance among individuals. Within a herd, there is typically a matriarchal deer, known as the alpha doe, who leads the group and aims to teach the herd useful tactics for defending against other animals.

Apart from that there are other factors that made up their chasing behavior.

Below we will discuss five reasons why female deer chase each other:

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5 Reason why female deer chase each other

1. Showing dominance

Deer walks around a group which is called herd, while deer are not mating, female deer will walk and run together around a herd. They have a leader who leads the herd and she is called the alpha doe. A herd has a social structure and its leader the alpha doe is the one who takes charge within the herd and she usually breeds first.

Alpha doe was also responsible for other behaviors, such as, if she is suspecting any predators nearby or any footprint which indicates predators are nearby, she is going to warn others about it. She will teach the newborn to survive in the herds, once they are mature enough, she is going to let them go from the herd, she is going to leave her scents to get back to her when other members of the herd are lost, this order needs to be maintained in the herd. If a subordinate doe is challenging the alpha doe about her authority, they will start stealing each other’s feeding spot, bump into each other, stare back at each other, then start fighting.

2. Defending their food stamp

Female deer will recognize other does from different locations soon enough when does from different herds try to steal food. Deer are not very concerned about their location or food, although, if deer from different territories act aggressive or rude, they will bump into each other soon enough, which looks the same as establishing a settlement with an alpha doe. In this situation, deer from both herds will challenge each other, they will stare back at each other by flattening their ears, then will chase each other and fight to establish dominance.

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3. Giving birth

Deer chase off each other when they are ready to give birth to a new life. Usually, they remain pregnant for seven months. The best time to give birth to a deer is in spring, although, this behavior can run through the year. When a doe is about to give birth, she will find a quiet place for her to save her fawn. A fawn can walk after 20 minutes of its birth, although, a doe will stay with her for a day or two. Her herd will leave a foot stamp for her, she will follow the scent of the alpha doe to get back to her herd.

4. To stay together

Female deer will stay together when they are fearing any predator nearby. It looks as though, they are running through the bush. Predators are active late at night and sunrise. When they hear any footsteps, they start to give signals to the herd for movement. Once they are all aware of the predators, they will start to move, alpha doe will lead them, so that, all of them stay together.

5. Teaching survival skills

Alpha Doe is responsible to teach new members necessary survival skills, she teaches them to find food, drink water from ponds or lakes, hide or camouflage themselves in bushes when in danger, chasing each other to exercise or play.

4 Factors That Influence Female Deer Chasing Behaviors

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4 Factors that influence female deer chasing behaviors

Female deer go through some physical changes throughout their lives which also determine their behavior towards other female deer. Below we will discuss 4 factors that influence the chasing behaviors among female deer

1. Age and reproductive status

Alpha doe is the deer who lead the herd and she is older than most of the members in a herd. The alpha doe usually breeds first. When younger members of the herd challenge her authority, the alpha doe starts chasing them.

2. Hormonal changes

Female deer give birth during spring, before pregnancy, and during pregnancy, they go through various hormonal imbalances, which change their behaviors, female deer become ruder and aggressive toward younger female deer, which also causes chasing each other.

3. Popular density and competition

Female deer can give birth to twins and triplets at a time, which increases popular density within the herd, as a result, deer face food scarcity. To secure their own food from other female deer, they chase each other.

4. Environmental condition and availability of resources

Severe weather conditions often lead to food and shelter scarcity within a herd. Too many wind storms or thunderstorms may cause a shortage of food resources, to get food and shelter from other female deer, they chase each other.

4 Ways Female Deer Communicate

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4 Ways female deer communicate

While female deer are forming a herd, they are taking up some ways to communicate with each other to stay in the herd. Below we will discuss 4 ways in how female deer communicate

1. Vocalizations

Female deer use vocal communication for each other, such as bleating, wheezing, etc. Deer also use whistles or snorts. Grunting is a way to chase each other. By grunting, they will say to each other that they are close by. Sneezing or wheezing is a way to tell each other that they are ready to fight each other.

2. Marking the territory

Female deer do not usually act territorial, when there is a disturbance from another herd, they will mark their territory to act within the territory. They do the marking by scraping the branches of trees. Within their territory, they will find food, water, shelter, and other necessary belongings.

3. Pecking order

Female deer use communication through body language. Female deer try to establish dominance over other females through body language, when there is immorality involved, such as stealing food, they will start fighting and this fighting will go on till their death.

4. Using scent glands

Female deer have different glands which produce scents that they use for socialization as well as mating. They have scent glands at their antlers which produce oil-based scents to help promote their hair growth. Female deer also use this scent to help understand other deer their presence. They also use these scent glands to attract other dominants from different herds.

They also follow the scent of other deer to establish their home ranges. Deer use tarsal glands to spread their scent among others where they bring their tarsal glands in their rear legs and urinate on them which is known as rub-urination, this is another way to tell other deer about their presence.


Will female deer fight each other?

Yes. Female deer fight each other by pecking order, where they use body language to understand each other. Often, if a subordinate doe challenges an alpha doe about her authority, it looks away, the alpha doe looks away from the subordinate doe by flattening her ears, and then, they will fight till their death.

Why do deer chase each other away?

Female deer usually give birth in spring, they will chase away from the herd to stay with their newborn which usually takes place 1 or 2 days after giving birth, then they will return to the herd by following the scent of the alpha doe.

What do you call a group of female deer?

A group of female deer is usually called a “herd”, herd is the most common term, whereas, you can call it a bevy, a parcel, a rangale, etc.

How do female deer attack predators?

Female deer attack predators if predators try to harm their fawn, most female deer do not have antlers, although, they have hooves which female deer use to attack their predators.

What is the behavior of female deer?

Female deer do not have antlers, they have hooves, and they do not fight when they mate. Female deer use body language, hard looks, and front feet to show their dominance.

Final Thoughts

From the above discussion, female deer use chasing to stay together and bonding as a social form. This is how they manage food, water, and shelter for themselves and their fawn. They fight together against their predators, such as men, wolves, coyotes, etc. by chasing each other. When there is any dominance from another herd, the alpha doe takes the lead to fight off the other dominant. Female deer use their scent glands to tell others about their presence. While chasing each other through the tall bushes, female deer play or exercise.

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