Whitetail Deer Facts

Ohio Whitetail Deer Buck, Hidden Hollow Whitetail Ranch

Whitetail deer are very interesting creatures. As hunters, we spend so much time studying their habits in the woods. From bedding and feeding schedules to body growth and antler size, the more we know the better chance at getting a big buck we have. There's so much more to know before you can truly understand whitetail deer, however. Let's talk a little about some lesser-known whitetail deer facts.

1. Whitetail deer have a very unique digestive system beginning with their teeth. They have very sharp incisors for biting through tough vegetation and gnawing at bark and large back molars to crush and chew food. Their stomachs are four-chambered which helps in complete digestion. They will oftentimes eat food very quickly and then regurgitate it later to fully chew it.

2. They are very speedy mammals. Deer can run at top speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour for short distances. When running, most of them on average have a very long stride averaging about 25 feet. Many people don't think about deer swimming, however they can top out just shy of 15 miles per hour in the water.

3. Seasonal changes are a large part of a whitetail's identity. Whitetail bucks grow antlers through later summer into fall. Antlers begin to grow and are covered in velvet for protection. As fall approaches the antlers begin to harden and the velvet is rubbed off. About the time you start to see velvet-less antlers, you'll notice bucks and does' coats change from their summer red to a dull tanish gray color.

4. Deer can not see most shades of green, orange, and red. This explains why hunters can wear "hunter orange" safety gear and not be spotted. They also do not have great sight during the day due to having more cones than rods, but this allows them to see well at night.

5. Most deer eat a diet of acorns, grasses, leaves, berries, twigs, fruit, and nuts. When there are crops like corn, soybeans, wheat, or cover crop available they become a large portion of the whitetail diet. Deer are also able to eat a variety of mushrooms that are poisonous to humans and other animals.