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The deer's coat is a reddish-brown in the spring and summer and turns to a grey-brown throughout the fall and winter. The deer can be recognized by the characteristic white underside to its tail. The deer will raise its tail when it is alarmed to flag the other deer. The white-tailed deer is highly variable in size, generally following Bergmann's rule that the average size is larger further away from the Equator. North American male deer (also known as a buck or stag) usually weighs 60 to 130 kg (130 to 290 lb) but, in rare cases, bucks in excess of 159 kg (351 lb) have been recorded. Mature bucks over 400 pounds are recorded in the northernmost reaches of their native range, specifically, Minnesota and Ontario. In 1926, Carl J. Lenander, Jr. took a white-tailed buck near Tofte, MN, that weighed 183 kg (403 lb) after it was field-dressed (internal organs removed) and was estimated at 232 kg (511 lb) when alive. The female (doe) in North America usually weighs from 40 to 90 kg (88 to 198 lb). White-tailed deer from the tropics and the Florida Keys are markedly smaller-bodied than temperate populations, averaging 35 to 50 kg (77 to 110 lb), with an occasional adult female as small as 25.5 kg (56 lb). White-tailed deer from the Andes are larger than other tropical deer of this species and have thick, slightly woolly-looking fur. Length ranges from 95 to 220 cm (37 to 87 in), including a tail of 10 to 36.5 cm (3.9 to 14.4 in), and the shoulder height is 53 to 120 cm (21 to 47 in). Including all races, the average summer weight of adult males is 68 kg (150 lb) and is 45.3 kg (100 lb) in adult females. Deer have dichromatic (two-color) vision with blue and yellow primaries; humans have trichromatic vision. Thus deer poorly distinguish the oranges and reds that stand out so well to humans.
White-tailed deer are generalists and can adapt to a wide variety of habitats. The largest deer occur in the temperate regions of Canada and United States. The Northern white-tailed deer (borealis), Dakota white-tailed deer (dacotensis), and Northwest white-tailed deer (ochrourus) are some of the largest animals, with large antlers. The smallest deer occur in the Florida Keys and in partially wooded lowlands in the neotropics. Although most often thought of as forest animals depending on relatively small openings and edges, white-tailed deer can equally adapt themselves to life in more open prairie, savanna woodlands, and sage communities as in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico.
Photographed this buck grazing in a field at sunset which really brightened the scene.