A fawn is a deer in it's first year and a yearling is a deer at least 1 but less than 2 yr old. I think we, as hunters tend to group fawns as yearlings as soon as spot fade away. Well technically, they don't fade, they go away due to their "coats" changing from Summer to Fall
However, they are tender and delicious as well....LOL
I hear fall fawns called yearlings often too.
Usually by continuing to listen to the story I can tell if the hunter is actually referring to a fawn or a yearlin.
We also call fall fawns weanlings a lot too.
I’ve always called the yearlings even when they have spots , and most people I hunt with or around do the same ..... I hear it all the time , seen a doe and 2 yearlings , learn something technical on here often ! But I ain’t to technical
For the last half century, right or wrong, I've always heard the term "yearling" referring to young of the year deer-fall fawns that have grown out of their spots, but aren't full-grown deer yet (button bucks and doe fawns.) All I've ever heard a 1 1/2 year-old deer called is a "deer," no special name. Maybe it's a regional thing.