White-tailed deer, it’s also familiar named as Virginia deer, it’s medium-sized deer found in America, New Zealand Caribbean Antilles. Also, you can see them in Germany, Finland, Romania, France, and some other countries in Europe. White-tailed is vastly found in America.
There are many interesting facts about this animal that you may not have known.
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What they Look Like
You can see different colors in different seasons. Adult deer colors are reddish-brown in the summer and grayish-brown in the winter. You can separate male and female white-tailed deer in the summer and fall by their large size of antlers. Their new antlers are lost in winter and grow at the start of the new season.
Size and Weight
The average male whitetail deer length stands about 37-39 inches (94 to 221 cm) and the weight of the Male adult is 150lbs and the female adult’s mass is 100lbs. Both are measured in summer.
The heaviest recorded buck was 309 lb (140 kg), shot in Nebraska in 2006.
Most of the male white-tailed deer are lived for almost 6 years. Some lives longer some lees. It depends on their living space and condition. Female white-tailed deer’s life are longer than 2 years than the male deer. One of the record white-tailed deer lived 22 years in Georgia.
Antler & Size
Males grow antlers every year. This happens in about 10,000 cases out of the 1 million females that have them.
Antler size and shape are determined by other factors including nutrition, genetics and age at first rut. Antlers are shed annually, typically in the fall, but can also be shed in late winter or early spring.
The average antler mass for a mature buck is about 2.5 lbs (1 kg). The largest recorded antler was found on an Iowa male deer that weighed 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg).
Whitetail Deer Ecology
White-tailed deer live in temperate, deciduous, and coniferous forests. They are the most common species of deer in North America. They prefer open areas with plenty of browse and water but can also be found in dense forests. Whitetail deer can live in a wide variety of habitats.
White tail deer eat a huge amount of food, generally, they are eating a leguminous plants, leaves, and other small branches of trees.They like to eat In desert cacti, grass, and prairies. They also eat corn and fruits. Whitetail has a multi-functional chamber (4 chambers) stomach which can allow various types of foods. Some foods like mushrooms that men can’t take because of toxicity.
Their food habit is changed on availability. They love all kinds of food that is found on a farm. When they need additional calcium they can chew another animal’s bone. An average amount of food is 2000 lbs (910kg) per year for an average grown deer. Around 20 deer is enough to demolish the woodland per square mile.
Males are always competing to mate with females. If males are enough then the females then the competition is less. If the male is more than the female it’s time to represent the hierarchy to get the female attention.
Whitetail deer are polygamous meaning they mate with more than one female during the year. So they are weak physically and do not take enough food in the meantime.
Temperature is one of the major factors in the rutting season. If the temperature rises to 40 °F (4 °C) then the male doesn’t enough travel to look for the female because they will be dehydrated.
Late in October or starting November female whitetails are getting estrus. Female sexual maturity depends on age and availability of foods. Young females run away from the heavy male population area. Some females are mature sexually at the age of six months and fully mature at age of 18 months.
Males attain maturity in the second breeding season after birth, or at about 18 months. Some of factors are influence their reproductive system.
After 6-7 months females give birth to one to three young, generally the time in May or June. A young deer in its first year is known as a Fawn. They are spotted as fawns at the first summer they lost their spots. The first winter their weight is 44 lbs to 77 lbs (20 to 35 KG). Male is usually heavy and larger than females.
In the first 4 weeks, mothers hide their babies in small trees and leaves and suckle them 4-5 times a day. These hiding tricks save fawns from other wild animals.
After one month they start following their mom. After 8-10 weeks they fully depend on vegetarianism.
Females deer leaves their mom after two years and male leave after one year.
The whitetail deer sexually mature at age of 18 and sometimes they start their reproduction with old bucks and stack there.
Whitetail deer have their own communication system. They communicate with sound, smell, and physical signs and marks. In presence of danger they blowings with their unique audio wave for each animal. Fawns are making high pitched squeal. Sound is known as bleat.
Another sign of pattern is raising their tails. When they are spooked they run away with raise their tails and warning others of their colony.
White-tailed deer are the most popular game for hunters in North America. Hunters pursue them rather than other species. White-tailed hunters contribute more than other hunters. You can consider that the white-tailed are the foundation of the entire financial segment of the hunting industry. However, other species are mentioned too.
Deer meat is another major cause of hunting. It’s a natural and organic source of food (meat). In some areas, their population is so high and it’s a way to make balance them by controlling hunting.
White-tailed deer have sharp hearing and good eyesight. They can detect others’ presence by smell. They are good at escape plans in dense forests. White-tailed is preyed on by human hunters and wolves, bears, lions, coyotes, and other wild carnivorous animals.
Whitetails are a common deer species across their ranges and are the most numerous large mammal in North America. There is no one precise estimate of their numbers, but it is likely that there are anywhere between 8 and 15 million whitetails living on this continent.
In past history we can see the white-tailed are decimated by overhunting, now they are recovered due to conservation efforts that have improved their habitat by reducing dense forests and increasing amounts of brush and shrubs.