Throughout most of the year, female Eld’s deer are solitary, or occur in pairs with their young, (10), except during the mating season when females and their young congregate in herds of up to 50 individuals (2). Males are also generally solitary, except during spring when mating begins (6). The breeding season in China is from February to June, with a single fawn (occasionally twins) born from September to January, after a gestation of around 34 weeks; in India, calving occurs from mid-October to the end of December (6). The Thailand brow-antlered deer (R. e. siamensis) and the Burmese brow-antlered deer (R. e. thamin) breed from February to April and give birth between October and November (10). Like most cervids, mothers hide their young immediately after birth, concealing them in the long grass. Young are weaned at around five months and become sexually mature at one and a half to two years of age (2).
Eld’s deer are active most of the time, but tend to seek shelter from the midday sun (10). This deer species undergo short migrations in order to find water during the dry season and food during the growing season (9). Eld’s deer are closely associated with areas that are seasonally burned, eating the new grasses that emerge after the burn (9). The diet includes a variety of grasses, fruit, herbaceous and wetland plants and this species is known to graze and browse opportunistically on cultivated crops from nearby fields, such as rice, lentils, maize, peas and rape (2) (9).