The world of the whitetail deer is an intricate and interesting one. Here are ten fascinating facts that might surprise you.
A deer hunter’s world revolves around these amazing animals. But how much do you really know about the whitetail deer?
1. A newborn fawn can stand in twenty minutes, walk in one hour, run a bit in twenty-four hours, and outrun a man in five days.
2. The hollow winter hair of the deer’s coat provides excellent insulation, preventing loss of body heat, while also keeping the snow from melting.
3. On average, a deer needs to eat about eight pounds of vegetation, per one hundred pounds of body weight, per day.
An 150-pound deer needs to eat twelve pounds of food in a twenty-four hour period over most of the year.
4. Over most of the year, whitetails remain bedded sixty to seventy percent of the time, usually feeding five times every twenty-four hours.
Deer can defecate while bedded, but need to get up to urinate.
5. Like a human, an adult deer has thirty-two teeth.
But a deer has no upper teeth in the front of its mouth; the space is instead filled with a hard-surfaced pad of gristle.
6. Large antlers result from three factors: nutritious food, increasing buck age, and good genes.
The shape, or configuration, of the antlers is strictly genetic.
7. Chin whiskers tell deer exactly how far from the ground their lips are when feeding.
8. Adult buck antlers start to grow around the last of March or early April, and grow at the rate of about a quarter-inch per day.
Younger bucks begin growing their antlers a little later, and theirs grow at a slower rate.
9. Sparring is an activity bucks partake in in order to test one another for dominance, as well as develop the muscles and skills that they will need if they should actually have to fight during the breeding season.
Sparring is also a reaffirmation of the status quo in each fraternal group and prevents actual fights from having to take place, which could cause severe injuries, if not death.
10. During the rutting season, a buck will lose up to 25 percent of their body weight from the constant seeking and chasing of does.
Respect the animal you’re after by knowing some facts about them!
Information compiled from the book “Whitetail Savvy” by Dr. Leonard Lee Rue III.
Photos: Justin Hoffman