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White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer

As the name indicates, the main identifying feature of the white-tailed deer is its white tail.

The underside of the tail is white and highly visible. The animal raises and flashes its tail when disturbed or running. The body colour changes with the seasons from a greyish brown in winter to a reddish brown in summer. Antlers normally grow up and forward with spikes, or tines, projecting up from the main beam.

An adult white-tailed buck may weigh from 45 to 136 kg (100 to 300 lb.), while an adult does weigh between 39 and 60 kg (85 and 130 lb.).

 

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Habits

‘The diet of a white-tailed deer changes with the seasons. Grasses, wildflowers, herbs and the emerging leaves of many shrubs and trees are consumed during the spring, summer and fall. Buds and twigs of birch, maple, dogwood and aspen are browsed during the winter, as well as white cedar boughs. Acorns and various agricultural crops, including corn, apples and grains, are readily consumed when available.

Female groups consisting of mothers, daughters, sisters and fawns of the year generally remain together throughout the year. Males are usually solitary but do form groups in feeding areas.

Deer prefer areas with sunlight and new growth adjacent to thick cover. They can be found around the edges of fields, marshes and forest openings in the early morning or late afternoon. At other times, they prefer the safety of a thick cover.

Females normally breed at two years of age, but, in good habitat, yearling does may also produce fawns. Does give birth to a single fawn, twins and even triplets in early June.

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