More Interesting Facts about Whitetailed Deer

A few days ago, I wrote the first part of this article (with the very snappy title) — Interesting Facts About Whitetail Deer.

The White Fur is Obvious on these Deer in this 'Woodland Splendor' Scene! *

Fur Colors on Whitetails

Last time, I told you that whitetails are always dressed for the weather:  a reddish-brown coat in the spring & summer, and a gray-brown (heavier coat) for the fall and winter.

These coat colors help them hide in plain sight;  they are generally the same color as their surroundings.

We call these deer ‘whitetails’ because of the fur on the underside of their tails.  When they are ‘on alert,’ deer raise their tails.  They show alarm by twitching their tails and racing or bounding away from what scares them.

Whitetails have other white details on their bodies.  There is a ring of white fur around their eyes and a line of white hair between the nose and the face.

They also have touches of white fur in their large ears, under their chin and on the throat.  Deer have white fur bellies and on the inside of their upper legs.

Deer shed their fur twice per year, but grow new antlers each year.  Obviously, good nutrition is critical to do this important work (shedding and growing new fur and antlers).

Antlers by the Season

It is hard to imagine that a buck grows and sheds his antler ‘rack’ each year.  The antlers start as two beams upon which tines (or points) grow.

Looking at the buck above, I believe there are 8 points (3 on the left side and 5 on the right rack).

Deer shed their antlers in the winter (after the rut), and regrow them in the spring.  Thin skin, called velvet, cover the new, tender tines/points.  This velvet is shed before autumn.

Before the Rut

Antlers are an important part of buck’s behavior used in the weeks before the rut (deer mating season). Deer are herding animals and  dominance is determined by fighting.

By looking at these racks, you can imagine that buck fights can become rough.  The winning buck is the dominant animal of the herd and he mates with the most does (when they come into season).


Generally, most states set hunting season around the time of the rut.  This helps hunters because most bucks have other things on their minds and are not as careful!


Woodland Splendor‘ used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics


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Published in: on November 2, 2010 at 12:18 am  Comments Off on More Interesting Facts about Whitetailed Deer  
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