Facts About Whitetail Deer
Many people don't know that once a deer establishes its territory, it will never leave it, under no circumstances, no matter what is happening in the area. As a matter of fact, it is a known fact that deer prefer starvation rather than leaving their territory in search for food sources.
It only takes two deer without predation to produce a herd up to a maximum of 35 deer in only 7 years. A deer can live in the wilderness up to 12 years and, in areas where there aren't any hunting activities conducted and no predators, the deer population can double in size every year.
Deer can cause a lot of problems to farms and farmers; a survey conducted in the United States stated that 56% of farmers believed that they have suffered crop damage by wildlife (especially deer). In Pennsylvania farmers suffer crop damages of an approximately $30 million every year; in Wisconsin $37 million. In 1995, damages of up to $500,000 caused by deer-car collisions gave the authorities something to think about. Only in New Jersey the damages caused by these collisions reached $10 million. In Pennsylvania there are over 40,000 deer-vehicle collisions every year.
Due to the fact that the whitetail populations are growing, more and more people are concerned about property damages. A rather amusing but terrible aspect in the same time is that although there is an area where there are plenty of natural foods, deer populations are attracted to the backyards where they can find juicy and succulent plants. You can imagine what happens when the natural foods are found in limited quantities - the backyards become the main target.
These animals posses a rather large repertoire of sounds. A young deer will bleat similar to a lamb while an older animal will make sounds like a horse and raspy sheep. They communicate quite interesting, by stamping their feet, especially when they are nervous. By stamping they set up a vibration which is felt by other whitetails from great distances - this is the perfect way to alert all deer in a certain area. Whitetails can signal danger by flashing their white hair on their rump, just like pronghorns.
Their top speed is between 35 and 40 miles per hour. A deer is capable of clearing an 8 foot hurdle from a standing position. Some deer are capable of jumping up to 29 feet while the average deer jumps only 15. They don't do well on ice because of their hard hooves with receding centers that are insecure. When these animals slip on ice, it is likely that they dislocate their legs. When deer can't outrun an enemy they move to waters as they are known to be good swimmers; as a matter of fact, their top speed in water reaches even 13 miles per hour.
Does are in heat for approximately 30 hours and if they aren't bred during that interval, they come back in heat at about 28 days later. The doe's estrous period stars in November although the period may differ from area to area. During the heat period, the bucks track and follow does literally everywhere. In some cases a doe is willing to accept favors of a few bucks but more often the bucks don't share the doe. The gestation period lasts between 200 and 205 days, most of the fawns are born at the end of May or in the beginning of June. Does that give birth for the first time will have only one fawn in comparison with their second birth when they give birth to twins. A baby doe weighs about 4 1/2 pounds, a buck is a bit heavier, 5 1/2 pounds.
In the past, deer's worst enemies were the wolf and mountain lion. Today, their worst enemy is the human hunter. Another enemy (if it can be called like that) is the risk of diseases, some of the most known diseases would be: Bang's disease, epizootic hemorrhagic disease and fibrous tumors.