White-tailed Deer
Odocoileus virginianus

CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Artiodactyla
FAMILY: Cervidae

SIZE:
Buck 34 - 40 inches high at shoulder and 4 - 5 feet long; doe is smaller. Weight average for buck 125 - 175 lbs.; occasionally uo to 400 lbs.

RANGE:
Southern Canada, south to northern South America

HABITAT:
Temperate to tropical deciduous forest

DIET:
Wild - Leaves, twigs, brush, vines, fruits, berries, fungus
Zoo - Grain, hay

ADAPTATIONS:

  • Runs up to 28 mph and leaps over fences 8 feet high
  • Strong swimmer
  • Keen sense of hearing and smell
  • This deer gathers in small herds, usually of not more than a dozen animals of the same sex.
  • Feeds during the day and at night
  • If alarmed, it bounds swiftly away into dense vegetation with its tail raised. This "white flag" signals danger.
  • Pairs form briefly at mating.

FACTS:

  • Good antler development of buck denotes good health.
  • Size of antlers is dependent on the food supply and age of deer. Start growing in April - May.
  • Antlers are shed annually during January. (Velvet rubbed off in September)
  • Winter coats are made of stiff, tubular hairs.

YOUNG:
Gestation 6.5 - 7 months; usually 1 - 2 spotted fawns. Fawns can walk a few hours after they are born, but remain quietly hidden in shrub waiting for their mother to return to feed them.

LIFE SPAN:
20 years

ENEMIES:
Dogs, coyotes, wolves, mountain lions, bobcats, lynxes

STATUS:
Not threatened; is hunted for sport and for meat