White-tailed Deer
Odocoileus virgianus

The White-tailed Deer has an overall body length of 4-6 feet. The tail is 7-11 inches. Its shoulder height is about 3-1/2 feet. The tail is white on its underside, raised when alarmed. Antlers (males) have main beam with several prongs. The fur is reddish in summer and grayish brown in the winter. Its preferred habitat is forests, swamps, and adjacent brushes areas.

The cutting of forests and clearing of land for farming have favored these graceful deer, now the most abundant hoofed mammals in North America. Early morning and dusk are the best times to see them, at other times of day they usually rest and digest their food. Except in winter, they are not gregarious and seldom appear in groups or more than three animals (a doe and two fawns). Females normally have no antlers. Males begin growing them several months after birth, shed them each winter, and develop them anew each spring and summer. The age of a deer cannot be told by the size of the antlers or the number of points (tines), for antler development is determined by nutrition, not age.


Photo courtesy Donna Bell, Flomaton, Alabama

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