Whitetail Deer Facts
The majority of these whitetail deer facts come from the book Quality Whitetails – The Why and How of Quality Deer Management; Karl V. Miller and R. Larry Marchinton, Editors.
Antler size increases rapidly until about 5 ½ years of age, after which most antler measurements tend to level off.
To determine the age of a buck beam length and antler spread are the best indicators while the number of points is less reliable.
In North America, whitetail antlers typically begin to grow in April, harden off with shedding of velvet in August to September, and drop in January or February.
A hardened antler is 50 percent to 60 percent mineral, with the remainder mostly protein.
Calcium and phosphorus are the most abundant minerals in deer antlers averaging about 22 and 11 percent respectively.
Does while lactating and bucks while growing antlers realize a similar loss of minerals.
There is often little relationship between a buck’s antlers as a yearling and his antlers at age 5.
Change in antler quality is dramatic with increasing age through 5 ½ years.
Home ranges of non-migratory whitetails cover only 146 to 1,285 acres.
Studies have shown that acorns can constitute 38 to 76 percent of a whitetail’s diet in November and December.
Due to virtual extinction from the 1930’s to the 1970’s thirty states restocked or relocated deer. Many states received deer from several other states with Michigan, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin providing most of the deer.
Under favorable conditions most adult does should have two fawns.
A doe can be expected to produce fawns up to the year of her death.
Frequently triplets and occasionally liters of up to four have been reported.
Generally does reach peak bodyweight by 3 ½ years and bucks reach peak bodyweight at 4 ½ years.
Antlerless deer harvests can help accomplish all or some of the following objectives:
1. Balance the sex ratio.
2. Reduce herd density.
3. Increase reproduction and recruitment.
4. Reduce yearling buck dispersal.
5. Shorten the breeding season.
6. Shift the breeding season earlier.
7. Improve the quality of yearling bucks.
8. Provide reproductive data.
9. Provide additional high-quality venison.
Twenty-five pairs of mature deer can become a herd of more than two thousand in ten years if no animals are removed.
Does on high quality diets produce more fawns and may breed earlier in the season.
Studies have found that in nearly 25 percent of the whitetail deer twin and triplet litters examined there was more than one father.
Whitetail deer are known to eat more than 700 species of plants depending on quality, availability and season.
More information about these whitetail deer facts and a wealth of other information is included in the book.
A lot of good information, including more whitetail deer facts, can be found in Deer and Deer Hunting Magazine.
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