Deer Facts

Whitetail Deer Facts

Impress your friends with these unusual deer facts.  For more information on whitetail deer behavior and biology please visit our deer hunting tips page

  • Whiteal Buck IN Early WinterDeer have a four chambered stomach that allows them to digest tough plant foods.  Deer eat quickly with out much chewing of food.  Later as they rest, they cough up their food and chew it.
  • A White tail deer uses it's tail to communicate with other deer.  If a deer senses danger it will raise it's tail as well as stomp the ground and snort by blowing air through it's nostrils.
  • Whitetail deer get their names from the white hair growing on the underside of their tail and belly.  When a deer senses danger it raises it's tail to warn other deer.
  • A deer's coat will change from reddish brown in the summer to grayish brown in the winter to help the deer stay camouflage all year long.
  • The deer's eyes which are located on the side of it's head give it 310 degrees of vision with out moving it's head.  However this position of the eyes also makes it hard for a deer to focus on objects.
  • A buck will use its antlers to establish dominance over other mail deer and the right to mate with female deer or does
  • Glands on the deer's legs and feet leave a scent on the trail to help communicate with other deer
  • A deer's powerful legs allow it to run at speeds of up to 40 Miles per hour and jump fences up to 9 feet tall.  A deer at a run can broad jump 30 feet
  • Deer are powerful swimmers and will often swim to cross bodies of water.  A deer can swim at up to 13 miles per hour
  • The deer's teeth are designed to chew tough foods.  Deer have incisors in the lower jaw for biting and molars for grinding up plants
  • A full grown deer will measure around 3 feet tall from the ground to the top of the back.  A full grown white tail can weigh 200 plus pounds
  • Deer age can be determined by checking it's teeth.  Deer have baby teeth just like people and loose their baby teeth by 18 months old.
  • Bucks mark their territory by removing bark from trees with their antlers this is called a buck rub
  • Once a deer establishes a territory it will not leave it unless it is bumped out by humans or predators
  • When free of predators and hunting pressure deer can double in population every year.  Just 2 deer when left alone can produce up to 35 deer in just 7 years
  • Deer can live up to 11 years in the wild.  If they don't fall victim to a predator or hunter at this age their teeth start to wear out and they can no longer eat.
  • The whitetail deer are members of the order Artiodactyle, which means that they have hoofs with an even number of toes
  • The muscles in a deer's head allow the deer to turn it's ears in any direction with out moving it's head.  experts believe that a deer's hearing is so sensitive that it can determine how far away a sound was made
  • Deer are herbivores. They eat grass, leaves, stems, shoots, berries, herbs, acorns, mushrooms, wild fruit and agriculture crops like corn and soy beans.
  • Only male deer or bucks grow antlers.  Deer are the only animals on the planet with antlers.  Antlers are the fastest growing tissue on earth.  A whitetail bucks antlers can grow up to 1/2 inch per day.
  • The size mass and number of points on a bucks rack or antlers is determined by nutrition, age and genetics of the buck.
  • The estimated nation wide population of the whitetail deer is believed to be 29 million strong up from around 500,000 in the early 1900's when unregulated commercial hunting threatened to eliminate deer all together.
  • Whitetail deer are believed to be completely color blind and have very poor depth perception.
  • A deer can detect the odors and scents several hundred yards away.  A deer licks it's nose to help keep it moist.  The moist nose allows scent partials to stick to it helping the deer to smell better.
  • Each year wolves kill over 40,000 whitetail deer nation wide.  Other predators account for an additional 60,000 deer killed each year
  • The term buck comes from the American Frontier when the skin of a Male Deer was worth one dollar or buck
  • The largest whitetail deer in the world live in Saskatchewan, Canada.
  • Deer are social animals and often move in herds dominated by an older female.
  • The Whitetail deer begin preparing for winter by shedding their summer coat and replacing it with a heavier winter coat. During a cold snap, they can make the hairs of their fur coat stand erect, which traps air near the skin and increases the insulation value of their winter coat. This is similar to birds fluffing their feathers. Deer store most of their fat reserves during the summer months because the twigs they eat in the winter lack the nutritional value of green vegetation. They tend to migrate to areas with conifer trees such as white cedar, balsam, fir, white spruce or jack pine. Conifers are warmer than trees that shed their leaves because they absorb energy from the sun. And, like most of us, deer also try to limit the amount of time spent out in the elements. As far as how our current winter will affect Minnesota’s deer population, it’s too early to tell. That impact depends on snow depth coupled with how long the snow stays on the ground.  - Frank Swendsen, DNR wildlife supervisor

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Deer Hunting Quotes

Whitetail deer have tarsal glands which are found on the lower outside of each hind leg. Scent is deposited from these glands as a deer walks through the woods and brushes against vegetation.
- Deer Hunting 101