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Deer Facts

  • North America's white-tailed deer population is estimated at 20-25 million.
  • Except for the Southwest, Alaska, and Hawaii, white-tailed deer can be found everywhere in the United States and southern Canada.
  • There are 30 white-tailed subspecies in North and Central America that scientists recognize.
    A white-tailed deer has a lifespan of 11-12 years in the wild.  Most do not live that long because of disease, predators, hunters, and cars.
  • White-tailed deer stand 3-4 feet tall with a length of around 6 feet.
  • Deer weight varies from 90-300+ lbs.  Males ("bucks") weigh 150-300+ lbs while the females ("does") weigh 90-200 lbs.
  • White-tailed deer are excellent leapers and swimmers.  They can leap as high as 10 feet and as far as thirty feet.
  • White-tailed deer are tan or brown in the summer months and grayish brown in the winter.
  • They have white on the throat, stomach, around the eyes and nose, and of course, the underside of the tail.
  • Deer collect in family groups consisting of a mother and her fawns.
  • The doe is solitary when she has no fawns.
  • The buck is solitary during mating season and fights other bucks over territory.
  • White-tailed deer mate in November in the North and in January or February in the south.
  • 6 months after mating, the doe has 1-3 fawns.  The fawns are reddish-brown with white spots.  They walk at birth and start foraging a few days later.  Weaning takes place at about six weeks.
  • Mother deer show their white undersides when running so it is easier for the fawns to follow.
  • In summer the deer inhabit fields and meadows using leaves and forests for cover.
  • In winter deer stay to the forests for shelter.  Many young and old deer often get sick and die in the winter.
  • Deer cannot move very well in snow because of their long, skinny legs with pointed hooves.
  • White-tailed deer are herbivores.  They feed in the early morning hours and in the late afternoon.
  • Deer feed on plants in the spring and summer.  Corn, acorns, and other nuts are in the fall diet and in the winter they feed on buds and twigs of woody plants.
  • Predators of the deer, especially the young, are coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions.
  • The lack of predators in the wild can lead to overpopulation.  This leads the deer to starvation because the environment cannot support overpopulation.
  • Deer perform "flagging" to warn others of danger.  Flagging is when they raise their tail and show their white underside.
  • White-tailed deer also stomp their hooves and snort to warn of danger.
  • White-tailed deer are susceptible to disease.
  • People can get Lyme disease from deer ticks.
  • Deer sounds are available at the following website: animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/white-tailed-deer.html