About game deer

In Norway, we have five different species of game deer, from the rather small roe deer to the enormous moose. These herbivores are among the most important sources of food for our carnivores, and on these pages you can learn more about the various members of the deer family found in the Norwegian landscape.

Villrein om høsten, brunsttid for reinen. Norefjell, Buskerud 29.9.04 Villrein i solnedgang.
Bjørn Henrik Stavdal Johansen

About game deer 

Latin: Cervidae. 

Number of species in Norway: 5. 

Number of species in the world: Approx. 50. 

Largest species in the world: Alaska moose (Alces americanus gigas). 

Distribution: The whole world except from Africa, Australia and Antarctica. 

Generelt om hjortedyr

Deer are a family of herbivorous animals that are very common throughout Europe, Asia, and North and South America. They are found all over Norway, and the family includes some of the most common species we see in the wild.  

All deer have long, thin limbs that end in hooves. They are fast animals that are good at spotting danger in the form of predators, and most of them are excellent at running away and escaping predators.  

Virtually all deer also have antlers in some form, and it is usually only the males that grow them. Most deer are also gregarious animals, with a few exceptions (like the moose).  


The moose, or elk, is known as the king of the forest, and this enormous deer is the largest land animal we have here in Norway. But have you ever wondered what this giant eats? You will find the answer together with plenty more interesting information about the moose here!


The reindeer is a deer that lives in huge herds in mountainous areas in Southern Norway. It is well adapted for surviving in the biting cold of winter and has also developed special hooves that allow it to dig in the snow for buried lichen to eat. Learn more about these fascinating animals, we have everything you need to know here!

Roe deer

The roe deer is the most numerous deer species and without a doubt the most frequently encountered. Most of us think of the roe deer as being native to Norway, but in fact there were no permanent populations of roe deer in the country before 1900, and it was not until the 1930s and 40s that they spread throughout large parts of the country. You can learn more about the roe deer here!

Red deer

The red deer is most populous in West Norway and most at home in forests. It is our second-largest deer after the moose, and large males can weigh nearly 300 kg. On our pages about red deer, you can learn more about how the red deer lives, what it eats and what predators are the greatest threat to it.

Fallow deer

Fallow deer are the rarest deer species in Norway and only found in a few areas in Østfold. The animals now living wild in Norway are the descendants of animals that escaped from farms, but they do very well in the wild here and are now regarded as a Norwegian animal, despite being unwanted. You can learn more about the fallow deer, it's lifestyle and which carnivores that hunt it here.