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whitetail deer with fawn in field

How Long Are Deer Pregnant? | Gestation Calculator

Quickly find out the approximate conception or birthdate of whitetail, mule deer, elk and other types of deer species using the gestation calculator below!

gestation Calculator
Choose animal below and select “conception date” or “birth date” to calculate the corresponding birth or conception date.
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Pregnancy Length of Deer

When it comes to whitetail and other types of deer, there are two time periods during the year that are particularly fascinating.

For hunters, the “rut” is certainly an important time, as males seek out females for breeding. During this time, the woods and hunting grounds are alive with activity and often provide a hunter the best opportunity at the buck of a lifetime.



And, while the conclusion of the rut often signals the end of hunting season for many, a different stage will soon begin. In the Spring and Summer months, does will begin birthing fawns that were conceived during the rut and a new part of the life cycle will begin.

If you frequent the woods during this time, you just might catch a peek at a small, spotted whitetail fawn. And, if you utilize trail cameras during the Summer months to keep tabs on your herd, a picture of a fawn is always a welcome surprise.

But, how long are deer pregnant, and how can you figure out when the fawns will start dropping in your area?



whitetail doe with fawns

The spotted coat of a whitetail fawn is a beautiful thing to see. You have the best chance to see these young deer in May or June.

Gestation period of Whitetail Deer

To determine the approximate conception date of a whitetail fawn or the estimated birth date, you have to first know the gestation period (how long the baby deer is in the womb between conception and birth.)

According to Mark K. Johnson, Professor at the School of Renewable Natural Resources at Louisiana State University, the gestation period for whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the northern U.S. are similar to that of whitetail in the southern states, ranging from 193 to 205 days (Spring 2002 issue of Louisiana Agriculture).



Based on those statistics, whitetail does bred in early November would likely be born in mid-May to early June. So, female whitetail deer are pregnant for about 6 and a half months.

If you happen to have trail cameras out during the Summer months, you may catch a photo or video of a fawn with its mother. The unmistakable spots on young fawns is beautiful to see until they begin to fade 3 to 4 months after birth.

Let’s take a look at some of the other types of deer and the gestation periods of each.



Mule Deer Gestation Period

According to a 2005 report published by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Wildlife Habitat Council, the gestation period of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionuslasts) an average of 200 days. So, the mule deer and whitetail have almost identical gestation periods.

mule deer doe

The pregnancy length of a mule deer is almost identical to that of the whitetail. (photo by Jeff Coldwell)



Elk Gestation Period

While the number of days that whitetail deer and mule deer are pregnant is very similar, the elk (Cervus canadensishas) a longer pregnancy.

According the Minnesota Elk Breeders Association, the average gestation period for elk is approximately 246 days. The “rut” time period for elk ranges from late August to late October with calves typically being born in May or June.

female and bull elk

Bull elk have a gestation time of approximately 246 days.



Blacktail Deer

According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the average gestation time for a black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus), is approximately 203 days.

blacktail doe and fawn

Blacktail deer pregnancies lasts approximately 203 days. (photo by John Carron)

Chital (Axis) Deer

According to the Natural Science Research Lab at Texas Tech University, the gestation period for the Chital (Axis deer) ranges from 210-238 days.

axis chital male and female

Axis deer have a gestation range of 210-238 days.

Moose

Moose (Alces alces) calves are born any time from mid-May to early June after a gestation period of about 230 days, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

female moose and fawn

Moose calves are typically born from Mid-May to early June.

ranch fairy troy fowler with feral hog

In-Depth Arrow Testing with The Ranch Fairy [PLUS: Kinetic Energy & Momentum Calculator!]

When it comes to your bowhunting setup, knowing the “Kinetic Energy” of your arrow allows you to know how much energy that arrow possesses due to motion, from being shot by your bow. The “Momentum” tells you how much force it will take to stop your arrow when it reaches its intended target.

Kinetic Energy and Momentum Arrow Calculator

Kinetic Energy and Momentum Calculator
Arrow weight Value must be between 250 and 1000 grains.
move slider or enter value
grains
Arrow speed Value must be between 100 and 500 Feet Per Second.
move slider or enter value
fps
Kinetic Energy:
0
Momentum:
0
ranch fairy approved logo

If you know your arrow’s weight (in grains) and your arrow’s speed (Feet Per Second), then you can use our Kinetic Energy and Momentum calculator above to find out each! Simply move the sliders or enter the values in the blanks. And, if you really want to take a deep dive into the Kinetic Energy of arrows, check out what the Ranch Fairy is up to below…

Kinetic Energy And Bowhunting (How I Got Here)

the ranch fairy troy fowler

As you may already know, the ‘ole Ranch Fairy (that’s me) is quite out of the norm in his measuring of arrow systems. (If you aren’t aware, I am definitely one of the strange ones in the bowhunting world.) 

In all fairness, I have been heavily influenced by Dr. Ed Ashby’s 12 Arrow Penetration Factors and his almost 30 years-long Natal Study.  These are, in fact, the basis for my YouTube channel and all of the research I have been doing therein.

Anyway, just to set the record straight, the biggest overlap between Dr. Ed, the Ashby Bowhunting Foundation, and the Ranch Fairy is simple: We want to know the highest performing projectile for all impact points to pass through the animal you are hunting.  

The goal is maximum arrow lethality

I like to put it this way: Archery is shooting a target… bowhunting begins at impact with the target.

Finally, I am constantly seeking higher performance and am always questioning what I know today

Why?

Because the longer I live, the more I look back and say, “wow, my assumption about bowhunting 3 years ago (along with many things in life, not just bowhunting) was flawed.”

I keep learning because I kept asking “why” and kept trying to find out ”why.”




The Science Of Arrow Flight

So, now I have embarked upon the science side of the arrow. Some questions to consider:

  • Why does an arrow fly?
  • Why does an arrow fail to penetrate?
  • Why do we measure it with scientific formula?
  • Which formula is correct – OR – is it a combination of formulas?
  • Are we right? (oh man, check the man card here!)


Big Mike and a “Rocket Man”

I like to say, “It’s better to have smart friends than to be smart.” And, I have had the luxury of meeting ‘Big Mike’ who has coached me on the “functional bow and arrow flight” part of this game. 

And then, the latest addition… enter, “The Rocketman,” Darrel R. Barnette. 

Darrel spent 30 years with the Department of Defense (D.O.D.) testing “boring” things like, tank penetrators and rail guns. 

Just to clarify, the Rocketman says he technically never worked on a ‘rocket’.  But, he did shoot, test, and evaluate hard target penetrators pushing Mach 11. 

So, ya know, an arrow is a bit slower. 

darrel barnette testing kinetic energy of bows and arrows

Here’s the Rocketman “aiming’ what is known as a lab radar. NOTE: (If you have a bowhunting idea or concept, Darrel does testing and you can reach him at [email protected].)

Heretofore, Darrel is known as “the Rocketman.” 

When the Rocketman starts talking, he gives me about 15-20 minutes (until steam starts to come out of my ears) and then he pulls back on the reigns. 

Ballistic coefficient, Poncelet equation, yaw, lift, aerodynamic friction and drag, the Physics Hyper Textbook on and on and on. 

Bro! He has me doing calculus!



kinetic energy arrow test machine

The Rocketman brough some fancy gadgets to the Kinetic Energy show…



Kinetic Energy And Arrow Flight

So on to Kinetic Energy (KE), which is super boring. But, we’ll play along, since it is the most common measurement of bow efficiency.

But is it the right one? 

More to come, but for now,  I’ll stay on the rails with Kinetic Energy so the speed bow guys can relate with ‘hitting the target’.  

ki·net·ic en·er·gy

/kəˈnedik ˈenərjē/

noun

energy which a body possesses by virtue of being in motion.

Oxford Languages



The first time Rocketman said, “well, Troy, a bow is just a spring with fixed Kinetic Energy,” I thought… BLASPHEMY! 

But, from what I understand, he is right. 

The bow can’t “make” more KE. It is what it is. 

BUT, you can change the arrow and gain some…..so hang on. Let me set the table here… 

metal spring

A bow is just a spring with a fixed Kinetic Energy. It can’t make more kinetic energy than what it already possesses.

KE Arrow Testing

On a basic level, radar measures a projectile’s speed over distance. 

The testing unit that we used measures 5 total distances.  So, if you want to shoot 60 yards, the computer divides that distance into 5 increments. 

[NOTE TO SELF – you need to put the target further than 60 yards to capture the flight speed. To address this, we placed the target at 70 yards. Because, if impact is at 60 yards, the data would be flawed for velocity testing because the target stops the arrow at a yardage that it should be being measured.]



Below is the spreadsheet, graphs, etc., shooting 3 different bows under the conditions described above.  

Yeah, its super small. I don’t intend for you to read it and geek out (but that’s coming… keep reading!)

Just know that it’s a lot of information, and we ran the best test we know to do… today anyway.  (See my comments on being smart, today, included earlier in the article.  We will be smarter very soon!)

graph and spreadsheet of kinetic energy testing on bows and arrows

The Tools In Our Kinetic Energy Toolkit

The three bows we used in the Kinetic Energy testing were:

  1. Elite Kure 65#/28.5” draw
  2. Xpedition Xcursion 6 65#/28.5” draw length (my beloved “Pamela”)
  3. Mathews DXT 70#/29” draw length

I bare shaft tuned 350, 300, and 250 spine Sirius Apollo arrows to achieve the following arrow weights (in grains): 388, 436, 514, 589, 616, 670, and 718. 

Our goal was to see the ‘launch’ velocity vs. 60 yard ‘impact’ velocity. (Remember the target was at 70 yards).

Just to revive our blasphemy! “A bow is a kinetic energy spring, with fixed kinetic energy”. 

heavy arrows and filed points for kinetic energy arrow testing

Rocketman has his gadgets, but what would Kinetic Energy testing be without some “adult” arrows?



Test Results (and fancy graphs, oh boy!)

So, the charts below tell us the story.

The top line is the launch velocity. The change in velocity is super boring… Until you look at the 60 yard impact KE. 

The gap in the data sets shows the significant reduction in KE over distance. However, you see that gap narrow as arrow mass increases. 

expedition excursion kinetic energy graph
elite kure kinetic energy graph
mathews dxt kinetic energy graph

As you can see, in all the above graphs, the launch KE is relatively constant, but alas, further away, at 60 yards, with higher mass projectiles, we see something worth pondering. (Well, only if you think math is correct!)



What are the results telling us? (Please pardon the steam coming out of my ears)

So, despite my heavy arrow bias, (I’m not much of a hair splitter), increasing launch KE 3-6 ft/pounds is really boring. 

But the lower line, at 60 yards, is worth chewing on. 

If you search around, many of the wide mechanical broadheads suggest KE’s of 45-60 ft-lb’s. Now, they don’t go out on a limb and say, “that will create a pass through, or break bones.” It’s just a recommended impact KE. 


Formula for Kinetic Energy:
K.E. = 1/2mv2
(where m=mass of object and v=velocity)


And be clear, just like the firearms world, this is launch KE, maximum velocity. This is because a projectile can’t go faster once it leaves the muzzle or the string… It’s always slowing down. 

Silly aerodynamic drag. 

Now in a vacuum… oh wow, throw in some zero gravity and guess what?

It still doesn’t go faster….. it would maintain launch velocity and you wouldn’t be able to breathe to test it. 

Aw Shucks.



archery field points in prescription bottles

Some adult field points and some, ahem, “super weenie points.”

There have been multiple companies and YouTube personalities showing fixed blade vs. mechanical pressure testing on deer thoraxes and other items simulating a critter. They use very complicated mechanical devices down to something as simple as a bathroom scale. 

Let’s just say, the HUGE differences are eye popping.  

It’s not half a pound or 3, it’s exponential. The “precision” of the device doesn’t matter when the difference is 40 pounds.  Please search those tests up, because I know you’ll go do it anyway.   

sir isaac newton

When it comes to arrow penetration, harder things push back harder… you can just blame Sir Isaac Newton for that and keep my hate mail down!



Final Thoughts (For Now)

So, here’s the thing to ponder…

If X brand broadhead requires 50 ft-lbs to penetrate and another type takes, say, 10 ft-lbs., which one leaves you more energy to continue pushing? 

Remember Newton’s 3rd law…“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

So in this case, the tissue will push back 50 ft-lb on the one broadhead and 10 ft-lb on the other… but the arrow is exerting 70 ft-lb.

Given that, the broadhead requiring 50 ft-lbs has to have at least 50.1 ft-lbs. to continue moving and the 10 ft-lb broadhead requires 10.1 ft-lbs to keep moving.

The arrow has to overcome the equal and opposite push back exerted by the tissues: hair, meat, bone, etc.

sirius arrow shafts and heavy field points

If you can shoot between the ribs every single time, none of this matters. I’m not that good, so give me the heavy stuff!

PLUS, here’s the kicker.  Harder things push back… harder.

You can just blame this on Newton’s 3rd law of physics. This will keep my hate mail down!

So, for the 50 ft-lb broadhead, if your bow produces 70 ft-lbs, you have 20 foot pounds of extra work potential.  

Now, with that same bow generating 70 ft-lbs, shooting a beefier broadhead that only requires 10 ft-lbs to penetrate, has 60 ft-lbs of extra work potential. 

If you could guarantee you’d never hit anything hard on a deer, elk or other critter, and always shoot between the ribs, none of this matters… you have a winner. 

I’m not that good. So, give me all the extra I can get!



What’s next…

What we haven’t studied, is actually shooting the different broadhead platforms to measure the exit velocities or impact velocity.  That one will take “some doing” to get it right. 

Trust me, I want to know if I am right and “why.”  The math here says I am.  But Dr. Ed always says, “we won’t know until we actually test it under those conditions”. 

So, we will. 

This is why you donate to the Ashby Bowhunting Foundation, so we can go test these things and increase your effectiveness. 

More to come.

ranch fairy wearing shoot adult arrows shirt
Troy Fowler, aka “The Ranch Fairy”
cutthroat broadheads

Cutthroat Broadheads Review | The Inside Information

In this review, I tested the Cutthroat Broadhead. I really like this company. Everything is made in the USA and they have a great reputation.

Cutthroat broadheads have fans all over the world and I have long considered them to be one of the best two blade, single bevel heads made.

In this review I’ll cover the Cutthroat 2-blade as well as the Cutthroat 3-Blade broadheads.

I tested them for long range flight, penetration, durability, and edge sharpness and retention. And, as always, I shot with my Bowtech SR6 set at 72 pounds with a 27-inch draw length, and I’m using Bishop Archery FOC King Arrows, with a weight of 460 grains.

Cutthroat 2-Blade Broadheads specs

cutthroat broadheads lineup

The cutthroat broadheads lineup ranges from 125 grains to 250 grains.

There’s a lot to like about the Cutthroat. In some ways, it’s just a simple 2-blade single-bevel design. But, in other ways, there are some unique things that make it extra special.

First of all, Cutthroat broadheads come in several different weights, ranging from 125 grains to 250 grains (which can be great for higher FOC arrows). In this test, I shot the 125-grain version.

cutthroat broadheads specs

Here, you can see the specs for the Cutthroat Broadhead.



The Cutthroat is machined from a single chunk of 41L40 tool steel, which is really a high quality tool steel. And it’s brought to a Rockwell hardness of 55. It’s a good balance between being soft enough to sharpen and yet tough enough to be able to hold its edge well.

In addition, these broadheads are Teflon coated to protect the blades. It also has a really nice Tanto tip to help prevent blade rollover at the end.

The blades are 0.060 inches thick so a nice good thickness to them. And the single bevel is a 25-degree bevel.

I was eager to put this head to the test and see how it performed.

I have found that a 40-degree bevel is superior when it comes to how much a broadhead rotates in flight. So, the rotation of a steeper edge is going to produce a better bone splitting ability and more damage internally. At a 25 degree bevel angle with the .060″ blade thickness, the Cutthroat head should still do fairly well.

Balloon test

cutthroat broadhead balloon test

The Cutthroat head was able to pop a balloon from 70 yards out.




Out of the box sharpness test

In the out of the box sharpness test, I test how many times a broadhead can still cut through paper after a stroke of an arrow shaft across it. I give 5 points for the first cut and then one point for every cut thereafter.

The Cutthroat broadhead was able to still cut paper after three strokes of the arrow, giving it a total score of 7 points.

out of the box sharpness test of cutthroat broadheads

The Cutthroat 2-blade head cut paper after three strokes of the arrow.

Penetration testing

In this penetration test, I shot the Cutthroat into ballistic get that was fronted by 2/3″ rubber mat and 1/2″ MDF board.

cutthroat broadhead ballistic gel test

In ballistic gel test, the Cutthroat penetrated 7-1/4″ with 45 degrees of rotation.



Steel plate test

I shot the Cutthroat five times through a .22 gauge steel plate. The head held up very well.

The head did have a bit of edge folding on each side, which would take a little bit of work to sharpen those out. But, overall, the head fared pretty well for five shots through the steel plate.

The “S-cut” made by the Cutthroat makes it more difficult for entry wounds to close up on an animal after impact. The S-cut also aids in prying bones apart on big game animals like whitetail, mule deer, elk, etc., to allow an arrow to slide through.

steel plate test with cutthroat broadhead

The Cutthroat 2-blade provided a good “S-cut” that you get from a single bevel broadhead.


cutthroat broadhead damaged blade

The Cutthroat 2-blade had some dinged blade edges on each side after the test.



Final Thoughts on Cutthroat 2-Blade Broadheads

So, overall, the Cutthroat is a very nice head. I’ve long considered it to be a great head and putting it through these tests just proves it all the more.

It has a great price point, it’s made in the USA, and it flies super well. It keeps its edge well and is durable.

If you are looking for broadheads that are 2-blade and single bevel, this is definitely worth a look.

Great job, Cutthroat.

Cutthroat 3-Blade Broadheads Review

I was also able to test the Cutthroaght 3-Blade from Rocky Mountain Specialty Gear. This is a 3-blade double bevel head.

I was excited to see how it performed. But first, let’s take a close up look at it.

cutthroat 3-blade broadhead

Here’s a good close-up look at the Cutthroat 3-blade. This is a wicked looking broadhead. Notice the convex design to the blades, how they’re curved. You don’t see that in many 3 blades. That’s supposedly going to aid in penetration and the way it cuts the tissue. I was eager to see how that plays out.

The Cutthroagth 3-Blade head is machined from a solid chunk of 41L40 tool steel, which is a great steel to use in a broadhead application, due to its impact resistance.

The blades are 0.035 inches thick and the cutting diameter is one and one-eighth inches. This is the 125-grain model. So it has got a relatively short overall profile and you notice the tip there is designed for extra reinforcement and durability to prevent curling and rollover.



Sharpness test of Cutthroat 3-blade

I tested the 3-blade on the Edge-On-Up Sharpness tester. Results below:

cutthroat 3-blade sharpness test

The 3-blade took 500 grams of pressure to break the wire on the sharpness tester.

Ballistic gel penetration test of Cutthroat 3-blade

I shot the 3-blade in the FBI-grade ballistic gel fronted by MDF and a foam rubber mat.

cutthroat 3-blade head penetrating in ballistic gel

The Cutthroat 3-blade penetrated 7-3/4 inches into the ballistic gel.

Sharpness re-test post-ballistic gel test

sharpness test of cutthroat 3-blade broadhead after ballistic gel penetration test

The 3-blade took 575 grams of pressure to break the wire on the sharpness tester after the ballistic gel test.

Cardboard Penetration Test with 3-blade

cardboard penetration results of cutthroat 3-blade

The 3-blade penetrated through 62 layers of cardboard.

Steel plate durability test of 3-blade

Below is the Cutthroat 3-blade head after going through a 22-gauge steel plate five times.

cutthroat 3-blade after steel plate penetration test

The Cutthroat 3-blade was in perfect condition after shooting it into the steel plate 5-times. You can’t even tell it has been shot other than my fingerprints on the blades. Man, this thing really, really held up well.



Cinder Block Test of Cutthroat 3-Blade

I shot the 3-blade into a cinder block to see what would happen.

cutthroat 3-blade after cinder block test

Here is the Cutthroat 3-blade after impacting the cinder block. This was the same head that also went through the steel plate five times. It’s in excellent shape. You can see the discoloration from the concrete and chips of concrete embedded in it. But the edges, even where it went into the concrete, are still in good condition. The tip is still very sharp. No doubt this can be re-sharpened and reused many times over.

Final Thoughts on Cutthroat 3-blade broadhead

So what do you think of the Cutthroat 3 blade? Man, it performed very well.

Go through the score sheet below and see how it measured in each of the areas that I tested and compare it to other heads and see how it performed with them.



There are many really good things about it this head. I especially love the durability of that chiseled tip. I also love the steel that they’re using (the 41L40.)

I’m not really sure why they went with a curved convex design, although it looks really cool. Maybe there are reasons that don’t bear out in my testing. The convex design makes it a little bit more challenging to sharpen, because you can’t just lay it flat like you could with a normal 3 blade, 60-degree head and sharpen two edges at a time.

So, overall, I think the 3-blade Cutthroat as well! It’s a great head.

scorecard of cutthroat 3-blade broadhead
lusk archery grade of cutthroat 3-blade broadhead


John Lusk archery goat
John Lusk of Lusk Archery Adventures.

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