What is a Male Reindeer Called?

Are you wondering what a male reindeer is called? Surprisingly, it is not a ‘buck’ or a ‘doe’ as you would imagine. This is one distinct difference that sets reindeer apart from their deer species counterparts.

Male reindeer are referred to as bulls, they share this similarity with moose and elk. Reindeer also goes by the name caribou. Hunters will often refer to a male reindeer as a bull moose.

Are Reindeer Cerivdae

Reindeer form part of the Cervidae family, which also include red deer, the sika deer, the barasingha, the white-tailed deer, the grey brocket, the elk, and the pudú.

There are 14 subspecies of reindeer. Some larger size male deer species are referred to as stags. Only reindeer males along with moose and elk are called bulls.

Generally speaking, reindeer can vary in size and color, depending on the region. Reindeer are also stocky, have thick necks, square noses, and large hooves.

Male reindeer are not called ‘stags’

While ‘buck’ or ‘stag’ and ‘bull’ refer to the same animal group – deer. There is one difference and that is the difference in size. Generally, the terminology for male and female deer varies widely. Often, it is not determined by the species but rather the size. 

Most types of deer are referred to as bucks or stags and the females as does. Whereas a stag is often a much larger male deer.

However, this term is not universally used and it is not used to define larger male reindeer. The larger species of reindeer are referred to as bulls and female deer cows.  

These terms can also vary depending on the age group of the deer. And at times even by species. For example, a male red deer is often referred to as a hart and the female red deer is a hind.

As mentioned, deer terms also vary depending on age. The above terms are especially relevant for males older than 5 years and females older than 3 years. Only other male deer species are called ‘stags’ and this is not a term used for male reindeer.

Reindeer vs Caribou: Both males are called bulls

What is a Male Reindeer Called?

Reindeer, caribou, moose, and elk are all species of the deer family. Some distinguishing features of each set them well apart from the rest of their counterparts. The distinguishing difference includes that of which a male and female reindeer is called compared to other deer species.

There is no difference between reindeer and caribou except the name they go by depending on which part of the world you live in. In Northern Europe, the name reindeer is used, whereas in North America the name caribou is more widely used.

Mostly present in North America, some parts of Asia, Europe, and Greenland – are caribou. The name ‘reindeer’ has Norse origin whereas the name ‘caribou’ is of French origin.

North America refers to reindeer as caribou. A male caribou is still referred to as a bull. Other male deers will be referred to as a ‘buck’. The female caribou are referred to as ‘cows’ and nor ‘does’ as with most other deer species.

Reindeer belong to class Mammalia. They belong to the family of Cervidae as well as Rangifer respectively.

Other groups of reindeers are known as Tundra Reindeer and Woodland Reindeer – the gender name for male reindeer and female reindeer vary accordingly. Adult male reindeer are bulls.