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White-Tailed Deer - Facts and Information

White Tailed Deer in Late Summer

White-tail buck

White-tail buck

White_Tailed Deer Range

White_Tailed Deer Range

Range and Habitat

White tailed deer are the smallest members of the North American deer family and are abundant here in Oklahoma. They can be found in Southern Canada and most of the United States except for the far southwest, Alaska and Hawaii. They get their name from the white underside of their tail, which they will raise and “wag” as a warning to the other deer that danger is near.

The white-tailed deer typically inhabit woods, forests and sometimes southern swamplands. They use the woodlands for safety and shelter and will graze in nearby open fields. In the summer, they use the broad leafed trees and for shade and in the winter use coniferous stands such as cedar trees for shelter against the cold.

White -tailed deer will normally stay within a radius of one mile as their home territory. However, during extreme weather conditions, such as droughts, they will roam farther looking for food and or water.

White-tail doe, nursing her twin fawns.

White-tail doe, nursing her twin fawns.

White Tailed Doe

Female deer, called doe, have a reddish-brown coat in spring and summer, which fades to a grayish brown color in fall. The female white tail can range is size from 90 to 200 pounds. In spring, usually around May, you can see does with their new little fawns. Does will usually have between 1 and 3 fawns each spring. It is rare for the does to have three fawns at a time, but twins are fairly common. The fawns will have a reddish-brown coat with white spots, which helps them blend in with their surroundings. The does become very aggressive after they have had their fawns and will chase off anything that comes near, including 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. I have seen does fight off large dogs, coyotes and other does that have come too close to their fawns.

White-Tail Buck in Fall

White-tail buck running across field in fall.

White-tail buck running across field in fall.

White Tailed Bucks

Male deer, are called bucks, and also have a reddish-brown coat in spring. Male white tail can range is size from 150 - 300 pounds. The bucks will also sport antlers during certain months of the year. Normally the bucks will start growing their antlers in early spring and the antlers will continue to grow until the winter months, at which time they will just fall off. The bucks use their antlers to spar with other bucks during their mating season, or rut, in fall. The bucks 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. As the antlers mature, 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.

White Tailed Deer Grazing

White-tail Deer Grazing in Fall

White-tail Deer Grazing in Fall


White tailed deer are herbivorous grazers and live on a diet of leaves, grass, twigs, fruit and berries in spring and summer. They will feed on nuts, corn, acorns and twigs in winter. In spring and summer months, they will also feed on your vegetable and flower gardens. Many people have put up fences to keep the deer out of their gardens, but usually to no avail. White tailed deer can jump a fence “in a single bound”. They can actually jump to a height of about 10 feet and leap about 30 feet at a time. White-tailed deer are mostly nocturnal and graze primarily during hours of dawn and dusk. If they are comfortable with the area, they will occasionaly venture out during daylight hours.

Young White Tailed Buck

You can see the little bumps where his antlers are beginning to grow.

You can see the little bumps where his antlers are beginning to grow.

Predetors and Life Span

They use their agility and speed to out run their predators. White tailed deer can run at a speed of up to 30 miles an hour. Natural predators of the white tailed deer in Oklahoma are bobcats, coyotes, and the occasional mountain lion. Because of the decline in the deer's natural predators, deer over population can become a problem. This is when they are more likely to eat from your vegetable or flower gardens. If their population overcomes their environment they can starve to death. This is one reason the National Wildlife Department has created a "deer season". This helps to control the deer population. Without it, not only will the deer starve, but disease becomes a problem that can spread to other wildlife. Their natural life span is about 6 years, but in captivity they can live up to 14 years.

White-tail Doe and Fawn in Spring Meadow

White tailed fawn and mother in field.

White tailed fawn and mother in field.


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. During the daylight hours they are normally resting in the shade among trees and thickets in the woods. Their hearing is exceptional as well as their sight. They tend to be nervous animals and will normally run away at the sound or sight of a human. When alarmed they will stomp the ground and "snort" to warn the other deer. As they run, they will raise their tail, showing the white underneath and "wag" it like a warning flag. This also helps the fawns to follow their mothers when fleeing from danger.

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I hope you have found this information on the white tailed deer interesting and informative. I also hope this will allow you to appreciate the beauty and grace of this beautiful animal.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on March 23, 2013:

Hi Rebecca! I love to watch the deer. This year we have had 3 does and 2 "yearlings" that hang around our place. Now that we have started planting our garden, we will be seeing them much more often. LOL Thank you for stopping by! Have a great day! :)

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on March 23, 2013:

I see them scampering through the woods a lot!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on March 23, 2013:

Hi Peggy! The Texas/Oklahoma Drought has really hurt the deer in the last couple of years. I really hope we get more rain this year! I am definitely going to look up your deer hubs, I know I will enjoy them! Thank you for all your kind comments and votes! :)

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 23, 2013:

Hi Sheila,

There are many such deer in Texas and we can see them on the edges of wooded areas occasionally in the daytime, but more often at dawn and dusk. You took some beautiful photos! If you would like to hear about my brother's hunting experience, I wrote about it in a hub titled Bambi Movie to Whitetail Hunting Trips to Hand Feeding of Deer.

I have gotten good photos of deer in other places. There were an amazing bunch of them at the Royal Gorge Bridge in the winter. I think that they were starving...thus the begging for food. Not sure what kind of deer they were. They are featured in that hub...and we learned our lesson about getting too close with a head of lettuce!

Glad that your dog, while injured, did recover. All kinds of up votes and sharing.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 09, 2013:

Thank you Marcia! I appreciate your kind words. Have a wonderful day! :)

Becky Grant from Connecticut on January 08, 2013:

Good evening. Thank you for your response. Have a great evening.

mours sshields from Elwood, Indiana on January 08, 2013:

Those deers are very beautiful! Beautiful pictures, also.

Marcia Ours

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 08, 2013:

I hate to make this a "conversation" on comments, but I have to reply one more time! You would think she would have learned her lesson, but nope, she did it again! We watched her one morning as she approached a doe at the edge of the driveway. Apparently the doe had a fawn hiding in the trees. The doe chased Sadie down the driveway, pawing at her all the way! Know when the deer come close to the house, she wants to come in! LOL :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 08, 2013:

Hello Chitrangada! I am fortunate to be able to live in the country with nature all around me, I feel blessed. Thank you so much for your kind words and comment! Have a wonderful day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 08, 2013:

Hello Lisa! Living in Massachusetts, they are probably the White Tailed Deer. If you see a "flash" of white when they raise their tail when startled, they are the same. Hubby and I watched 5 of them yesterday morning in our yard. They wandered around eating what grass they could find, then jumped a 4 foot wire fence like there was nothing to it! Thank you for stopping by and commenting, it is always appreciated! Have a wonderful day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 08, 2013:

Hello chef-de-jour! Yes, the deer have excellent hearing, they normally won't come "out of hiding" when the wind is blowing as they cannot hear well. We are fortunate enough to live on 40 acres in the country and have deer come near the house almost every day. I could watch them for hours! I am glad my hub has inspired you and I hope you enjoy my wildcat hub also. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a wonderful comment and votes! Have a marvelous day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 08, 2013:

Hello Becky! That was quite a shock, for both of you, I'm sure! I have stepped outside for a smoke before when it was very dark and did not see the deer just outside. It "snorted" a warning and scared the "rain" out of me! My husband laughed his butt off! :) Thanks for stopping in! I enjoyed your comment! Have a wonderful day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 08, 2013:

Hi Bill! Right now we have a group of 5 deer that are coming up into yard looking for food. I don't have the heart to shoo them away either. There is not much left in my flower beds, so they can have what is there. Thank you for your kind comment, vote and share! Have a great day! :)

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on January 08, 2013:

No, I didn't know deer could run on their back legs. I bet that's quite a sight! Poor Sadie. I'm sure that's the last time she'll try to make friends with a baby deer. : )

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 08, 2013:

Actually, a friend was over and we were all walking the main trail in our woods. We heard a terrible commotion and looked over to see the mama deer on her hind legs, pawing at Sadie. Did you know that a deer can "run" on just their hind legs for at least several feet! I didn't either, until then! :) Yep, that would have been a good one for Youtube! :)

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 08, 2013:

This is so beautiful! You live in real beautiful surroundings, with lovely creatures roaming around it seems. I have seem this kind of Deer in zoos. How wonderful to look at them like this. The pictures are great and your hub is so interesting.

Thanks for sharing this one.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on January 08, 2013:

Too bad you didn't get a video of the mama deer beating up your yellow lab. I'm sure that would have been very popular on Youtube! : ) Thank you---have a wonderful day, too.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 08, 2013:

Hello vespa! Bob cats will go after the fawns. A bobcat would be no match for a full grown deer. My yellow lab, Sadie, wandered to close to a fawn one time and the mama whipped her butt! She ran home "crying" and limped around for almost a week! Thanks for stopping in, voting and sharing! Have a wonderful day! :)

Lisa HW from Massachusetts on January 08, 2013:

What a nice Hub. They are beautiful. We have deer where I live (not sure what kind), and I'm always in awe when I see them stand in their statuesque way or bound up the hill with such power and grace.

Andrew Spacey from Sheffield, UK on January 07, 2013:

A graceful creature and judging by those large ears very sensitive to disturbances! You've got some great photos of this beautifully coloured deer which helps to bring your text alive! Thank you. Here in the UK we have some wonderful deer (red and roe) but they tend to live semi wild in forests and parks so for me to read about genuine wild deer is a treat.

I love all forms of wildlife - I'm inspired to write poetry - and I shall certainly visit your hub on the wild cats.

Like you I walk miles in a week and although not a photographer am a keen observer of anything that moves, from a sparrow to a horse!

Votes for this hub.

Becky Grant from Connecticut on January 07, 2013:

Ya that is an awesome pic! Funny story. Just last week I woke up really early and decided I was going to have a smoke because I could not sleep. When I went to go ash out the window I was shocked to realize I was face to face with a deer lol. Even though obviously I was inside and he was out, I screamed and jumped so loud that the deer got scared. The poor thing was so scared he went on his 2 back legs and then landed on my stair hand railing taking it off. I hope the poor guy was okay.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on January 07, 2013:

Hi Sheila. We have many white tail deer in our area also and like you I love to watch and photograph them. They are beautiful animals. A few years ago we had two fawns that would visit our yard daily to eat our shrubs. I loved watching them so much I didn't have the heart to shoo them away. Great job. Loved this hub. Voting up, sharing, etc.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on January 07, 2013:

Since I had a Midwest upbringing, sightings of white-tailed deer are some of my fondest memories. I didn't realize bob cats are some of their predators! Very interesting. Voted up and shared.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 05, 2012:

Hello Nomascus. Thank you for your nice comments, I really appreciate them all! Have a wonderful day! :)

Nomascus concolor from A Country called Earth on April 05, 2012:

Nice hub! I love the photo of the "Buck in Fall"! The colours are just amazing! Beautiful!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on February 14, 2012:

Hi JKenny! Yes, I am lucky, and I appreciate the beauty I have where I live. Thank you for reading commenting and voting on my hub. It is greatly appreciated! Have a happy Valentine's Day! :)

James Kenny from Birmingham, England on February 14, 2012:

A great Hub, about a magnificent animal. You're very lucky to have Deer roaming freely where you are. Where I live, the area's too urbanised for them. But I often catch glances of small Muntjac Deer and the Roe Deer (which is roughly the same size as the White Tailed Deer)in the countryside. Voted up and awesome.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on February 14, 2012:

Hi viking305. Thank you for your kind words. I have to tell you that my husband does hunt, but he only hunts what we will eat. I can't watch! We are fortunate enough to live in the country on 40 acres and have lots of deer here. He will only hunt on the back part of the property. The picture of these deer was taken in my "front yard". Thank you for reading my hub, voting and sharing. Have a happy Valentine's Day! :)

L M Reid from Ireland on February 14, 2012:

Lovely article about these deer. They are wonderful creatures and how anyone can enjoy hunting them is beyond me.

We have some great herds of deer here too in the Phoenix Park in Dublin

Thanks for Sharing. Up and Aewsome

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on February 01, 2012:

Hi Brett! Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing my hub. It is always appreciated! They do look rather royal don't they? Have a wonderful evening!

Brett C from Asia on February 01, 2012:

A great hub and awesome photos. They look almost royal when they are out in the fields.

Thanks for SHARING.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 31, 2012:

Hi Duchess! I am not sure about the WordPress, I paid a company to set up the website for me and the cost of WordPress, may have been included in that, not sure. Yes, I print and matt the pictures myself, that way I can adjust any color problems I may have. I have had some other companies do the printing for me, but I was not happy with how they came out, would rather do it myself. Thank you for stopping by my hub and commenting. I would be happy to answer any questions you have, anytime! Have a wonderful day! :)

Duchess OBlunt on January 31, 2012:

I have a couple questions if I may.

Is the WordPress site a free one or upgraded?

Do you print and frame the pictures that you sell yourself? Or is this done through a site like Zazzle or CafePress?

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 31, 2012:

Hello Duchess OBlunt! Thank you for your kind words. :) Yes the website is mine. Thank you for checking it out. I love taking pictures and just had to have somewhere to display them. Thank you for commenting on my hub, it is greatly appreciated! Thany you for your vote up as well. Have a beautiful day! :)

Duchess OBlunt on January 31, 2012:

Lovely pictures and good information.

Rockcreek photography - I checked out that website - is it yours?

Thank you for sharing these beautiful animals.

Rated up and beautiful.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 28, 2012:

Hi alocsin! Yes, Bambi grew up to be a buck deer, with big antlers. LOL Thank you for commenting on my hub! :)

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on January 28, 2012:

Beautiful -- this is the species of Bambi, right? Voting this Up and Interesting.

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