Tuesday, April 29, 2014

White-tailed Deer in Spring

White Tail Deer, Public Domain

White-tailed Deer
Family Cervidae
Extinct in Indiana by 1930s
Reintroduced in 1934 and populations from Michigan immigrated south
Home range 1 to 2 miles

Deer in Spring
Males start growing antlers again, triggered by increased sunlight (mid-March to April)
Shed thick winter coats through a process called molting

White-tailed Fawn, Public Domain

Fawns born late May to early June
Usually 1-2 are born
200 day gestation cycle
Weigh 4 to 8 pounds
Double weight in 2 weeks
Learn to walk and follow mother quickly
Spotted, reddish, silky fur—helps with camouflage
Little to no scent to help prevent predation
Lie motionless when danger presents
Often assumed orphans though mother is nearby
Little noise yet bleats when in distress

Does are alert and aggressive to protect fawns
Ward off predators
Leave fawns alone to feed
Comes running when fawn bleats

Deer relax and replenish bodies from long, harsh winter
Reacquaint with environment
Readjust social relations as some may have died over winter
Bucks may find new dominant buck, using front feet to spar

Eat wild herbs, nutrient rich foliage in spring
Consume large amounts of salt in spring 

Sources of information: