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Whitetail Deer Facts

Author: Georgia State Parks

Source: http://www.gastateparks.org/




The white-tailed deer is one of the best-known and easily recognized animals in North America. The White-Tailed Deer is a long-legged, fast-moving mammal. The genus and species of the White-Tailed Deer are Odocoileus virginianus. This deer is found over most of North and Central America and northern parts of South America. It lives in deciduous forests, conifer forests, rainforests, grasslands, farm land, marshes, and even deserts. It has a life span of about 9 to 12 years. Other members of the deer family found in North America include the elk, moose, caribou, mule deer and blacktail deer.


The white-tailed deer is a large animal, which varies quite a bit in size, depending on the particular subspecies (30 are recognized) and the region where it is found. In Georgia the adult whitetail deer's weight averages from about 70 to 250 pounds. Mature males are generally larger than females. The whitetail is an ungulate, or hoofed animal, with each foot ending in a cloven or two-piece hoof. The under parts of the deer's body are white with a white patch on the throat and another smaller band of white around the nose. The underside of the tail is also white. The upper body parts are colored reddish brown during the warmer months but in the fall, whitetail deer molt into their winter coats of dark, grayish brown. For several months of the year, male whitetail deer known as bucks are easily recognized by the presence of antlers on their head, which females, known as does, lack. Once in a great while female deer (doe) will also have antlers.


1.      Whitetails are the most popular big-game species in North America.
2.      There are more whitetails in the United States today than there was when Columbus discovered America.
3.      Whitetails provide millions of people with recreation, food, clothing, decorations and even utensils.
4.      Whitetails are among the most genetically variable mammals studied.
5.      Whitetails can almost double their number every year. With this high reproductive rate and lack of natural predators, they can rapidly become a problem because of their effects on the vegetation of an area and their propensity to cause vehicle accidents.