The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virignianus) is the most widely distributed of North America’s large mammals. It can be found as far south as the southern tip of North America, and as far north as Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories. They also spread as far east as Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia to as far west as British Columbia.
White-tailed deer are tan or reddish-brown in the summer, and grayish-brown in the winter. When sensing danger, the deer raises its tail – this is called ‘flagging.’ Showing this large white patch on the underside of the tail signals an alarm to other deer and helps a fawn follow its mother to safety.
White-tailed deer eat large amounts of food, commonly eating cultivated crops and foraging on other plants, including shoots, leaves, forbs, and grasses. Their diets vary by season and by the availability of food sources.
On average, white-tailed deer weigh approximately 100 lbs, depending on gender, season, region, age, and access to food, though in some extreme cases, mature bucks up to 200 lbs have been recorded.
Photo Credit: Frank Hildebrand