Can Deer and Antelope Breed?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Our Associate portal can be found here

It’s a question that has long lingered unanswered in the minds of biologists. Can deer and antelope breed with one another to make fawns or pronghorns together? 

It turns out they can. In fact, many people have spotted bucks and do coupling in nature as well as on farms where those animals are kept for meat production.

In this post, we’ll explore the mating habits of deer and antelope. We’ll identify how these animals mate, what their reproductive systems look like, and why they might need to be separated from one another to prevent any cross-breeding. 

What are the Effects of Breeding Deer and Antelope?

If we mate two different animals together, what might happen? It can go either way really; sometimes there’s going to be defects with any kids born from this union while others find benefits for their respective populations.

The answer is a mixed bag. There’s no denying that some offspring will be deformed, but on the other hand, it could lead to an advantageous genetic mutation in one or both species which would allow them better survival rates than ever before

However, it can sometimes lead to a decline in population. A study of antelopes and deer found that the pairing between them leads to an increased risk for sterility or death among their offspring due to genetic incompatibility.

Deer and Antelope Mating Habits

Deer are one of the most abundant mammals in North America, while antelopes are common in Africa. They have a complicated mating system where males fight for access to females, then mate with them all at once during an annual rutting period.

Males compete aggressively over female deer and antelopes during their breeding season, sometimes even resorting to violence against other competitors.  Deer will usually only produce one offspring per year, born after seven months gestation periods. They feed on plants like clover or grasses while pregnant. When it’s time for birth, the mothers make a den that protects their new offspring from predators, wolves, and coyotes.

A mature buck can easily impregnate 40 – 50 does in two breeding cycles. This is an integral part of a successful deer management plan; otherwise, the herd will run out and die off due to genetic defects from close family lines.

 Some great benefits of cross-breeding include choosing your own desired traits or even producing hybrids that have the best features you are looking for!

Difference Between an Antelope’s And a Deer’s Gestation Period

Deer’s Gestation Period

The gestation period of deer can be wildly different from species to species but generally lasts between 200-205 days. Some breeds tend to have a much shorter or longer gestation period depending on the circumstances. For example, it may last as long as 286 days, while other times, a doe might only carry her child for half of this period.

The duration of pregnancy varies significantly among many types and subtypes of female deer, with most lasting anywhere between 240 and 290 days before giving birth – though there are exceptions where animals will either give birth sooner than expected (leading up to 190) or later when they go above 280-290 which could lead them into winter hibernation periods if not careful.

Antelope’s Gestation Period

The gestation period of an antelope ranges from about 242 days to almost 300 days, depending on the genetic processes of the females.


The rut is the mating season of many mammals, including Antelopes and deer. During this period, males become aggressive, start secreting fluids from their glands to attract females and rub against shrubs with antlers or horns to produce hybrids dominant for a female during breeding time.

To know if these species are compatible, you need to understand them well.

Are Antelopes and Deer Related?

Antelopes and deer are two different species of animal that share the same classification. Antelope is a term used to describe an African mammal belonging to the Bovidae family with long, slender legs for fast running speeds. 

The word “antelope” comes from Greek, meaning something like projecting jointed stem or antler-like horns, which alludes back to their large horn structures on top of their heads. 

Deer typically have shorter appendages in comparison. However, they can still be classified as an “Antlered” Species by definition because both male and female members possess tines.

How to Differentiate Between a Deer and an Antelope

You can differentiate a deer from an antelope based on the following features:

Horns and Antlers

The first difference would be that antelopes have horns, while deer have antlers.

Antelope horns are much smaller than those of a deer and can grow up to six feet in width. They have small, thin horns that only protrude from the skull and curve outward while they grow upward as time progresses. 

A deer’s antler is thick and connective tissue extends all along with their head before branching out at different angles just above their eye sockets. This may make them appear more intimidating because the size gives off enough room for many points.


It’s not just that deer and antelopes have different levels of speed. Deer can only maintain their top speeds for short distances, while some types of antelope can run up to 55 miles an hour – almost as fast as a cheetah

Deer will slow down after running long distances at lower speeds like 35 mph or less because they lack endurance. The fastest type of antelope has been recorded with being able to keep its pace at 25mph continuously for more than 1 mile without slowing down.


Antelopes and deer are different in the way they’re marked. Antelope have white streaks down both sides of their face, as well as a dark spot just above their nose, while deer lack any markings that could be considered familiar to them all.

One significant difference between antelopes and deer is the type of marks on their bodies. An animal with many kinds of dusky brown patches lacks what might be called “marking features” For instance, a distinctive stripe across its eyes like an antler does not mark it out from others that also share this feature but do not possess stripes themselves.


Although there are similarities between the antelope and deer, they come from two different families. The antelope is a part of the Bovidae family, while deer belongs to Cervidae.

How to Prevent Deer and Antelopes from Breeding

One way to prevent crossbreeding between deer and antelopes is by ensuring that they stay within their designated areas. The most common methods involve fences that are electrified. So as long as both sides keep up on maintenance, this should suffice


The bottom line is that it turns out deer and antelope can actually mate, but there are some risks. If you’re looking to make your own cross-species mating, please be aware of the possible problems which could arise. Crossbreeding between these two animals will result in an animal that’s less fertile than its parents because it has DNA from both species, making it genetically weaker. 

 And so, in the end, we have to ask ourselves a tough question. Is it ethical to breed deer and antelope together? This is not an easy answer because on one hand there are environmental concerns about declining populations but on the other hand, many people enjoy eating venison or game meat. It’s up for your judgment call.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates.

Scroll to Top