Learn About The White-Tailed Deer

The white-tailed deer is one of the most common species you will come across during your outdoor adventures, whether this is hunting, or wilderness expeditions.

While seeing something so regularly might make it become less important or prevalent in your mind, that should certainly not be the case. They are a beautiful species of deer, and one which is interesting to learn about.

Let’s chat about this type of deer in a little more detail.

More Information About the White-Tailed Deer

If you’re looking for Bambi, this is probably as close as you’re going to get. They are part of the Cervidae family, and are more formally known as Odocoileus Virginianus.

As the name would suggest, this particular species is quickly identified by the white flash on its tail. The male has antlers, and can weigh up to 300lb. However, it is likely to be anywhere from 150lb upwards. The female weighs between 90-200lb.

Characteristics

White Tailed DeerWhether male or female, their fur is a lush tan or brown shade during the summer months, when their coat is at its optimum color. During the winter months it dulls to a grey or brown shade.

Aside from the white flash on the tail, they also have white sections on their neck, around the nose and the eyes, and on their stomach.

You most likely have seen one at some stage out and about in the wilderness, such is the prevalence of this species overall.

Habitat

White-tailed deer are a highly adaptable species and can live in many different habitats.

You will find them in particular in heavily different kinds of wooded areas, meadows, areas of dense brush, farmer croplands.  In some regions there is a problem with an overpopulation and they are found living in backyards of homeowners.

These types of deer are found mostly in the southern reaches of Canada, across much of the USA, aside from the colder region of Alaska, in the far south-west of the country. Obviously, this is also apart from Hawaii, due to the higher temperatures and landscapes found there. Of course, you can also find them across much of the world, in the same wooded areas.

Diet

As with most deer, they are plant eaters. Also, they specifically feed in the early morning time, and again later on in the afternoon, before the sun begins to go down.

What they eat in particular does tend to vary, depending on the times of year, and their surroundings. This depends on what is available at that particular time.

Some staples of the white-tailed deer include grass, nuts, twigs, alfalfa and corn. They will eat pecans, hickory nuts and beechnut acorns. Some favorite fruits are apples, blueberries and blackberries. They are occasionally are known to eat flowers, vegetables and small trees.

Deer eat quickly, and they never stay in the one spot for very long. These animals will eat a little in one area, and then quickly move to the next area. They are also protective animals so they stay alert of their surrounds.

Mating

You can expect mating season to be quite set in the deer world. If they are located in the north, mating season will be in November. If the deer are located in the south, then mating season can be anywhere between January and the end of February. A female will then give birth to between one to three fawns, around six months after mating has taken place.

Of course, it is important to understand the behavior of a white-tailed deer, particularly if this is the type of deer which you see most often.

Basically, if one is spooked, feels threatened or alarmed then they can begin to stamp their hooves quite forcefully, and they may even try to warn other deer in the region by letting a snorting sound out. This can be quite loud, and will cause other deer to disappear out of sight.

They are also very fast runners, and can reach speeds up to 30 mph. In addition, they are great at jumping and leaping, and are also talented swimmers.

They can run away from you very quickly an easily. This means you need to be talented and on par with your own technique, if you are going to be successful in either spotting or hunting this type of deer.

Lifespan

A lot of different factors can determine how long they will live for. One of these is weather. If they cannot find food during the dead of winter, they might not make it to spring. Snow and cold temperatures can be a major issue as they can freeze.

The average life span of a white-tailed deer can be from 6-14 years in captivity. But, in the wild, the majority of deer don’t make it to that age because of other issues like disease, hunting and automobile collisions.

The average life span for wild white-tailed deer is only 4.5 years.

Additional Facts

This particular species of deer is so well seen in the USA and southern parts of Canada so that also means that this is also likely to be the type that you will see and come across the most. The fact that a white-tailed deer is so fast, and also that they are such good jumpers, means that you need to be ultra-quiet and ultra-slow when it comes to your hunting technique.

The most commonly seen is the female, because this is the epic Bambi picture, but the male deer has large antlers. This species of deer can grow large and heavy, particular the males, and even though you would think this could affect their speed, it certainly doesn’t! This is one of the fastest species around, so you will need to be on your game to catch one.

Seasons

The colder season during the winter months doesn’t mean that you will see less of this type of deer, however it does mean that their appearance will change, with a grey/brown hue to their coat, as opposed to the brighter colours which will appear during the warmer months of spring and summer.

If you happen to be around during the mating season, do be aware that there will be more numbers of deer around, and possibly some oddly behaving males. It’s also important to note that the mating season changes depending on the location, with the north and south seeing different mating season months. However, these are not too far apart from each other. The deer gestational period before giving birth is then around six months.

Conclusion

Have you had an experience with a white-tailed deer in the past? Were you quick enough to catch one? The fact that over-population could be a problem in certain heavily wooded areas means that you are certainly likely to come across one of these majestic creatures at some stage.

You might also like this:  Majestic Elk and Their Habitat

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