* Coat reddish-brown in summer, gray-blue-brown in winter. Fawns spotted
* Tail dusky above and white below; it is held erect and waves when the
* Males have antlers, consisting of a main beam with prongs. The record
antler spread is 33".
* Height: 3-3 1/2' at the shoulder.
* Habitat: Forests, swamps, open brush, meadows.
* Range: Most of the United States and southern Canada, except California,
Nevada, Arizona, and Utah.
* Behavior: White-tailed deer are active year-round herbivores. They
feed on twigs, fungi, acorns, grass, and herbs. To learn about the plants
they feast on, check out American yew, hobblebush, striped
maple, mountain maple,
and mountain laurel. In winter, deer
form communities of 25 or more animals, but during the rest of the year
they are solitary, except for mother/fawn pairs. They mate from November
to February. White-tailed deer fawns bleat, and adults snort when alarmed.
* Lifespan: 15-20 years.
* White-tailed deer have incredibly keen ears, allowing them to sense
humans from a distance. They are also strong swimmers, having been
clocked at thirteen miles per hour for three miles. At night, they
bed down in hollows and meadows, where the ground is dry, level, and
grassy. A flattened area several feet in diameter is usually an indication
of white-tailed deer.
* Deer are the most important game mammal in the eastern United
States. If you feel remorse imagining hunters stalking through
the woods in camouflage suits with giant high-powered bows and
rifles, emerging with poor defenseless dead deer,and gathering
around the deer camp to drink beer and count the points on their
bucks' antlers, just imagine the winter woods without hunting
season. Those poor defenseless deer would be competing for a
few twigs and digging through the snow for a limited supply of
food, and many would eventually starve and die slow, painful
deaths. Deer abundances would be very large because most of their
natural predators, such as wolf, bear, mountain lion, and coyote,
have been extirpated from most of the range. Isn't it better,
or at least acceptable, that some people get to sit in the woods,
enjoy nature, and come home with enough meat to last their families
several weeks, thereby keeping the deer population in check?
* The more deer in an area, the greater the threat of lyme disease,
which is carried by deer ticks.
* The bottom photo shows the deers' ability to camouflage in