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Facts on the White Tailed Deer

February 03, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 108

The white-tailed deer are fairly common in the United States. They are beautiful and timid creatures. I hope to give you some interesting facts about these amazing animals so you can learn more about them and come to appreciate their beauty as well as their gracefulness.

The white-tailed deer are the smallest members of the North American deer family. They get their name from the white underside of their tail, which they will raise and "wag" as a warning to other deer of impending danger. They are found from southern Canada to as far south as South America.

The white-tailed deer live in woods and forest where they have lots of trees and thickets for protection from predators. White-tailed deer are primarily nocturnal. They use the cover of darkness to wander out of the woods to eat. You can see them more in the dawn and dusk hours than during the day. Whitetail's will sleep in thickets and come out in the early evening to drink water and forage for food. They will return after the sun rises to bed for the day. They prefer to live near stream bottoms, ponds or swamps. They like to come out of the hardwoods to the field edges and graze. Very rarely do they venture out to the middle of the field. Their hearing is exceptional as well as their sight.

A fully grown adult male white-tailed deer, usually weighs up to 300 pounds. The females will usually weigh up to about 125 pounds. The average height of a white-tailed deer is about 3 ½ feet high at the shoulders.

Female deer, are called does, have a reddish-brown coat in spring and summer, which will fade to grayish brown in fall. In spring, usually around May, you can see does with their new fawns. White-tailed does will usually have between 1 and 3 fawns each spring. The fawns will have a reddish-brown coat with white spots. These spots help them blend in with their surroundings and protect them from predators. The does will become very protective after they have had their fawns and will chase off anything that comes near, such as dogs, coyotes, bob cats and other deer. Once the fawns become a little older, the doe may let other does travel with them, but still do not let them get close to the fawns.

Male deer, are called bucks, also have a reddish-brown coat in spring, which will fade to grayish brown in the fall. However, white-tailed bucks will also have antlers during certain months of the year. Normally the bucks will start growing their antler in early spring and the antlers will continue to grow until the winter months, at which time they will fall off. Their antlers will grow approximately 1 -2 inches per week. The buck's antlers are actually made of bone rather than keratin, which horns are made of. The antlers are covered with a skin called velvet while they are growing. The velvet actually proved the blood supply which makes the antlers grow. As the antlers mature and stop growing, the deer will rub the velvet off of their antlers by rubbing them against trees. Many hunters track deer by looking for their rubs on trees. The buck's use their antlers to spar with other bucks during their mating season, or rut, in fall.

White-tailed deer are herbivores. They live on a diet of leaves, grass, twigs, fruit, nuts, corn, alfalfa and your vegetable and flower garden. They are very fond of acorns and you will see many white-tails near oak trees in the fall. Many people have put up fences to keep the deer out of their gardens, but usually to no avail. The white-tailed deer can jump a fence "in a single bound". They can actually jump to a height of approximately 10 feet and leap outwards about 30 feet at a time. They use their agility and speed to out maneuver their predators. Natural predators of the white-tailed deer in Oklahoma are bobcats, bears, coyotes, and the occasional mountain lion. Their natural life span of a white-tailed deer is about 6 years. In captivity they can live up to 15 years.

Sheila Brown is an experienced writer and nature photographer, who enjoys writing articles on anything to do with nature. She enjoys sharing her experiences and passion for nature and hopes her writting wil be an outlet for that. You can find more of her articles at sheilasthisnthat. You can view her nature photography at Rockcreek Photography.

Source: EzineArticles
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