The wonderful White-Tailed Deer can be found nearly everywhere in Ohio. They are abundant in parks, in woodlands and on farms. They are also seen in residential areas on occasion. In the early part of the 1900’s, white-tailed deer were rare in Ohio. Their habitat had been destroyed and they had been hunted too much. The good thing is that as people let their farm lands go back to woods, the white-tailed deer’s habitat began to return. Then, as regulations were created to protect them from over-hunting, the white-tailed deer began a comeback. There are now nearly half a million white-tailed deer in Ohio!
A male deer is called a buck. The buck grows a type of horns each year called antlers. As the antlers grow, they are covered with a soft skin called velvet. In early fall, the buck begins scraping his antlers against small trees because the velvet is dried out and itchy. Once the velvet is all gone, the buck’s antlers are shiny and smooth. Antlers are not real horns, they are made up of real bone. Animals with horns never lose them, where antlers typically fall off during the winter.
The female white-tailed deer is called a doe. Does do not grow antlers. Baby deer are called fawns and are recognized by their spots of white on their reddish brown fur. The spots help them hide in tall grasses and weeds when their mother is not with them.
The average white-tailed deer weighs between 125 and 300 pounds. The have thick hair that is reddish brown in the warm months. In the cold months, their fur turns to a grayish brown. The white-tailed deer get their name from their large white tail. When startled, they use this large tail as a warning flag for other deer, and hold it up straight as they run for safety. Deer also use stomping their hooves and snorting loudly as other warning signs.
The white-tailed deer is an herbivore, eating plants, such as grasses, fruits, vegetables, nuts and twigs of woody plants. They are also ruminants, meaning they have 4-chambers in their stomach. The multiple chambers of the white-tail deer’s stomach enables it to better digest food that other animals can’t eat.
Amazing is another word for the Wonderful White-Tailed Deer!