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  • Writer's pictureWill Hedrick

White-Tailed Deer | Animal Profile



 


Introduction

The White-Tailed Deer is prevalent in the United States as it is one of the most common game animals for hunting. Due to human involvement, White-tailed deer have lost most predators like wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions. Today, humans and dogs are their primary predators.


The populations of White-Tailed Deer were depleted due to unrestricted hunting in the United States. In the early 1900s, there were an estimated 215,000 deer left. By 2003, there were an estimated 10.8-12 million deer.

Behavior

White Tailed deer are known for having exciting behaviors. Frequently, deer stomp a front foot to lure away threats and alert deer of potential threats. During the rut, the mating season for white-tailed deer, the males are typically seen locking antlers and fighting over territory for the best mating potential.


These deer are quick. White-Tailed deer have been recorded reaching speeds upwards of 30 miles per hour and can leap horizontally 30ft.


Diet

Their diet primarily consists of grass, corn, fruits, twigs, fungi, alfalfa, nuts, and twigs. These deer are herbivores, so their diet mainly consists of plant foods.


Physical Characteristics

These deer are the smallest members of the North American Deer family. They can reach a height of anywhere from 6-7.5 feet and a weight of 300 lbs.


White Tailed deer have a brown and tan color in the warmer months and transition to a more gray color during winter. They typically have a large white patch on their throat, and male deer have antlers.

Fawns, baby deer, have distinct white dots across their body. They lose these spots after they reach 3 or 4 months old.


Breeding

White Tailed Deer typically mate in November for the Northern parts of their range and wait as long as January and February in the southern regions. Females will give birth to 1-3 fawns around six months after mating.


The mother will leave her fawns well hidden - if she has multiple fawns, she will hide them in different locations. The fawns lay close to the ground, stretched out, making it difficult for predators to find them.


The mother will leave her fawns after two years. The male will go after just one.


Location

The White-Tailed Deer calls anywhere from Canada to South America home. During the summer, they tend to stick toward open fields where they can find plenty of food. They call forests home during the harsher winter months. The protection of the forest allows them to find shelter much easier to stay warm and brave the cold.



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