15 SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT WHITETAIL DEER
Hunters tend to know a lot about the deer they hunt. It is important to know deer patterns and habits, because that will help you to better understand where they might be and when. Here are 15 interesting facts you might not know about whitetail deer.
THE LIFE SPAN OF A WHITETAIL DEER CAN BE UP TO 14 YEARS IN CAPTIVITY.
In the wild, their life span is about 4 or 5 years old. Predators and the harsh elements of nature play a role in this.
THE OPPOSITE OF DOGS, WHITETAIL DEER ONLY WAG THEIR TAILS WHEN THEY’RE STARTLED.
Deer are very skittish and nervous animals, so it’s no surprise that their tail wagging is in association with their anxiety.
DEER HAVE PERFECTLY HEALTHY VISION AND HEARING, BUT THEY RELY MAINLY ON THEIR SENSE OF SMELL FOR PROTECTION.
This is why it is so important for hunters to mask their scents before they touch any area where they might hunt deer. They can smell you coming from (quite literally) miles away.
THEY CAN RUN AS FAST AS 30 MILES AN HOUR AND CAN JUMP AS HIGH AS 10 FEET.
So if you’re building a fence to keep deer out, you might want to make it a tall one.
THE PROPER TERM FOR DEER BEING MOST ACTIVE AT DAWN AND DUSK IS CALLED CREPUSCULAR.
Going out in the early morning or late evening is a fairly common rule for hunting, and it exists for a reason. The only time this will change is if the temperature drops into the single digits. Then, the prime active hours will be midday.
WHITETAIL ARE THE SMALLEST OF THE NORTH AMERICAN DEER.
Though they’re small, they still weigh more than some dogs. The average weight of a buck is 150 pounds and does weigh about 100 pounds.
THEY’RE VEGETARIANS, BUT THEY AREN’T PICKY.
Whitetail deer will eat virtually any plant, twig, or fruit you give them.
THEIR FEEDING HABITS CHANGE WITH THE SEASONS.
They will graze on lush grass in meadows during the spring and summer months, but will migrate deep into the forest in the fall and winter months and adapt to eating twigs and bark.
THEY HAVE A FOUR CHAMBERED STOMACH WHICH LETS THEM DIGEST THEIR FOOD VERY QUICKLY.
They don’t always chew their food before they swallow it. Sometimes they will swallow bites whole and cough them up later and chew it then.
THEY CAN EAT MUSHROOMS THAT WOULD NORMALLY BE POISONOUS TO HUMANS.
That four chambered iron gut of theirs allows them to break down the mushrooms that we’re told to stay away from.
IF A WHITETAIL BUCK SHEDS THEIR ANTLERS IN THE SPRING OR SUMMER THAT MEANS THAT THEY ARE SICK.
Deer normally shed their antlers in the winter, so if you see any signs of fresh shed on the ground in the spring or summer months, that means the buck that dropped them is diseased.
THE HARDENING OF THE ANTLERS IS DUE TO CALCIFICATION.
It directly correlates with rising testosterone levels before mating season in the fall.
WHITETAIL DEER ARE THE STATE ANIMAL OF NINE STATES.
They are the state animal of Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.
WHITETAIL HAVE BETTER NIGHT VISION THAN DAY VISION.
Their eyes have more rods than cones, therefore they can see better at night. They have their own built in night vision googles.
THEY’RE A BIT COLOR BLIND.
The colors red, green, and orange appear as gray to deer, which is why hunters can get away with wearing bright orange safety vests.
We hope we were able to provide you with at least a few facts about whitetail deer that you didn’t already know. What are some facts you’ve learned through your hunting experiences? Let us know in the comments!