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White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)is a medium size deer that ranges from Canada south to as far as Peru in South America. It has also been introduced to New Zealand and some countries in Europe, such as Finland, Czech Republic, and Serbia. In the last century the White-tailed deer were subdivided into 40 subspecies with more variations being found in Central and South America than those found in North America. Even in a given area there are tremendous genetic variations.

"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, which it shows as a signal of alarm by raising the tail during escape. There is a population of white-tailed deer in the state of New York that is entirely white (except for areas like their noses and toes)—not albino—in color. The former Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, New York, has the largest known concentration of white deer. Strong conservation efforts have allowed white deer to thrive within the confines of the depot."....Wikipedia "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 (350 lb) have been recorded. In 1926, Carl J. Lenander, Jr. took a white-tailed buck near Tofte, MN, that weighed 183 kg (400 lb) after it was field-dressed (internal organs removed) and was estimated at 232 kg (510 lb) when alive. The female (doe) in North America usually weighs from 40 to 90 kg (88 to 200 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."....Wikipedia

Male Deer lose their antlers every year and re-grow a new pair. Length and branching of antlers is determined by nutrition, age, and genetics. The number of points, the length or thickness of the antlers are a general indication of age but cannot be relied upon for positive aging. Antlers begin to grow in late spring, covered with a highly vascularised tissue known as velvet. Bucks shed their antlers when all females have been bred, from late December to February.

All Text and Images Copyright Michael Cummings ©


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