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Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann, 1780)
WHITE-TAILED DEER
Life   Vertebrata   Mammalia   Cervidae   Odocoileus

Odocoileus virginianus, White-tailed Deer
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 7
Odocoileus virginianus, White-tailed Deer

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Odocoileus virginianus
© Copyright Hadel Go 2014-2015 · 6
Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
© Copyright Hadel Go 2014-2015 · 6
Odocoileus virginianus

Odocoileus virginianus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Odocoileus virginianus

Odocoileus virginianus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Odocoileus virginianus

Odocoileus virginianus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Odocoileus virginianus

Odocoileus virginianus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Odocoileus virginianus

Odocoileus virginianus
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
© Copyright Roger Barbour. All rights reserved. · 3
Odocoileus virginianus

Odocoileus virginianus, fawn
© John Pickering, 2004-2017 · 2
Odocoileus virginianus, fawn
Odocoileus virginianus, fawn
© John Pickering, 2004-2017 · 1
Odocoileus virginianus, fawn

Odocoileus virginianus.dorsal.320.jpg
© Photographer/source
Odocoileus virginianus
dorsal
Odocoileus virginianus.lateral.320.jpg
© Photographer/source
Odocoileus virginianus
lateral

Odocoileus virginianus.ventral.320.jpg
© Photographer/source
Odocoileus virginianus
ventral
Odocoileus virginianus_map.320.jpg
© Photographer/source
Odocoileus virginianus map

Odocoileus virginianus_map.GSMNP.320.jpg
© Photographer/source
Odocoileus virginianus map
GSMNP
Overview
White-tailed deer prefer areas where dense woods and thickets alternate with open meadows and forest glades. Forest margins, orchards, and farmland generally provide excellent habitat.


  • Special Protection Status

    • Rangewide: The white-tailed deer are classified as a game species in most states and are protected by state game laws.

    • In Park: All plants and animals are protected within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Collection requires a permit which is usually granted only for research or educational purposes.


Identification
  • Adult total length: 4 1/2 - 6 3/4 ft. (134 - 206 cm)

  • Tail: 6 - 13 in. (15 - 33 cm)

  • Height at shoulder: 3 - 3 1/2 ft. (90 - 105 cm)

  • Weight: 150 - 300 lbs. (67.5 - 135 kg)

  • Physical Characteristics: During the summer, the back, sides, and limbs are usually reddish-brown; the heavier winter coat is grayish. The throat and underparts are white during all seasons. One of the most familiar characteristics of the white-tailed deer is the white fur on the undersurface and edges of the tail that is highly visible on the elevated tail of a startled or frightened deer.

    Deer have a number of prominent glands that secrete substances (pheromones) that may be used to attract other members of their species and in marking trails and territories.

    Male white-tailed deer possess antlers. Antlers are branched structures consisting of bone that are shed annually and are regrown each year. Bucks usually shed their antlers during late December, January, and February. New antlers appear several weeks after shedding and grow rapidly as the spring forage improves. Until they reach their full growth, antlers are covered by a thin layer of finely haired skin known as the "velvet." The velvet gradually loosens and is shed in pieces.


Names
Scientific source:

Phylogeny


Taxonomic Category Scientific Name Common Name
Phylum Chordata Chordates
Class Mammalia Mammals
Order Artiodactyla Even-toed Ungulates
Family Cervidae Deer
Subfamily Talpinae Moles

Geographic distribution
White-tailed deer are found from northern South America north through Mexico and the United States to southern Canada (Smith, 1991). They occur throughout the United States except in the arid portions of the West and Southwest.

  • Range Maps

    North America Great Smokies

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park: White-tailed deer were once common in some sections of the area now included in the park. However, due to a combination of factors - persistent hunting, running by dogs, disease, and predators - they decreased in numbers. Almost disappearing from the park by about 1930. The formation of the park at that period provided a refuge for these animals, and they have been increasing ever since. They remained scarce until the late 1940s, when small herds of seven or eight animals were reported in Cades Cove. By the middle 1950s, the herd in Cades Cove had built up considerably and, since that time, they are commonly observed there. By the early 1960s, white-tailed deer were being reported from many places in the park. By 1993, deer existed in low densities throughout much of the park. They continue to be most common in the western third of the park and are uncommon in the spruce-fir region (Linzey, 1995b).

    • Blount Co.: Abrams Creek; Cades Cove; Parsons Branch; Gregory Ridge Trail; Gregory Bald.

    • Cocke Co.: Cosby; Ground Hog Creek.

    • Sevier Co.: Greenbrier; near Fighting Creek.

    • Haywood Co.: Big Creek; Cataloochee.

    • Swain Co.: Deep Creek; Collins Creek; Fontana Lake; Hazel Creek; Noland Creek; Russell Field; Heintooga.


Natural history
  • Reproduction
    Female deer produce a single annual litter. A female's first litter usually consists of one fawn; two are most common thereafter. In the park, breeding usually occurs from November to mid-December. Following a gestation of 197 to 222 days, fawns are usually born from late May through early July (Linzey, 1995a). Mating deer were observed in Cades Cove on November 1 (Stupka, 1956). A doe and a newborn fawn were observed on June 20 (Stupka, 1956). The tracks of an adult and a fawn were seen along the Gregory Ridge Trail (4,200 feet) on June 17 (Stupka, 1939), while several does with fawns were noted near Hazel Creek in August, 1963. Wathen and New (1989) reported fawn-at-heel counts (fawns: does) ranging from 18:100 in 1984 to 20:100 in 1985 for the Cades Cove deer herd, suggesting a low rate of productivity.

  • Longevity
    Few white-tailed deer live beyond four or five years in the wild, although they may live up to 20 years in captivity (Whitaker and Hamilton, 1998).

  • Terrestrial Ecology
    Deer are primarily active in early morning and early evening throughout the year. They generally spend the daylight hours in concealing cover and bed down in a different site each day. They have no permanent shelter or den.

    Deer live in family groups composed of an adult doe, her young of the year, and her previous year's yearling does. Bucks are solitary in the fall, but congregate in groups in spring and summer. Deer are shy, secretive, and alert. They possess a good sense of sight and especially keen senses of hearing and smell.

    During the period 1983-85, spotlight counts in Cades Cove yielded an estimate of 0.38 deer per hectare (2.63 hectares per deer), while monthly mark-recapture estimates averaged 0.23 deer per hectare (4.4 hectares per deer) (Wathen and New, 1989). The average annual home range was 147 hectares.

    White-tailed deer are selective vegetarians choosing the most nutritious forage that is seasonally available. During the spring and summer, leaves, twigs, mushrooms, fruits, grasses, honeysuckle, and tree seedlings may be consumed. In the fall, acorns and other mast usually form a major portion of the diet.

  • Predators and Defense
    Wathen and New (1989) reported female fawn mortality rates of approximately 25 percent. Predation was one of the major causes of death (27%), with dogs or coyotes suspected as being the major predators. Black bears are known to kill some park deer. Males appear to be more susceptible to mortality factors than females.

  • Parasites
    Seventy-nine of 127 deer (62%) from Cades Cove were infested with lice. Tricholipeurus parallelus was found on 51 deer (40%) and Tricholipeurus lipeuroides was found on 36 deer (28%) (Hribar et. al., 1986). One doe also harbored Solenopotes ferrisi. Blood samples were collected from 518 deer in Cades Cove between 1980 and 1985 (Wathen and New, 1989). Antibodies were recorded for hemorrhagic disease viruses, leptospirosis, bovine virus diarrhea (BVD), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), and anaplasmosis. No antibodies were recorded for brucellosis.


Links to other sites


References

Acknowledgements
  • Text
  • Photographs
    • Roger Barbour Kuhn

  • Map development
  • Web page design & coding
    • Denise Lim, University of Georgia, Athens
    • John Pickering, University of Georgia, Athens


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Following modified from North American Mammals, Smithsonian Institution
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Following modified from University of Georgia Museum of Natural History
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Following modified from CalPhotos
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CalPhotos     Photo Database

 

Number of matches : 53
Query: SELECT * FROM img WHERE ready=1 and taxon like "Odocoileus virginianus%" and (lifeform != "specimen_tag" OR lifeform != "Animal") ORDER BY taxon

Click on the thumbnail to see an enlargement

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White Tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 1103 0641 [detail]
© 2003 Joseph Dougherty/ecology.org

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White Tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 1103 0642 [detail]
© 2003 Joseph Dougherty/ecology.org

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
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© 2003 Joseph Dougherty/ecology.org

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer (buck)
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Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer (piebald)
ID: 0000 0000 0602 0074 [detail]
© 2002 John White

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 1103 0648 [detail]
© 2003 Joseph Dougherty/ecology.org

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 1103 0649 [detail]
© 2003 Joseph Dougherty/ecology.org

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
ID: 1351 3151 0540 0123 [detail]
J. E.(Jed) and Bonnie McClellan
© 2005 California Academy of Sciences

Odocoileus virginianus
UCMP specimen card
ID: 2222 0904 0008 0087 [detail]
© University of California Museum of Paleontology

Odocoileus virginianus
UCMP specimen card
ID: 2222 0904 0017 0084 [detail]
© University of California Museum of Paleontology

Odocoileus virginianus
UCMP specimen card
ID: 2222 0904 0017 0085 [detail]
© University of California Museum of Paleontology

Odocoileus virginianus
UCMP specimen card
ID: 2222 0904 0017 0086 [detail]
© University of California Museum of Paleontology

Odocoileus virginianus
UCMP specimen card
ID: 2222 0904 0032 0031 [detail]
© University of California Museum of Paleontology

Odocoileus virginianus
UCMP specimen card
ID: 2222 0904 0034 0009 [detail]
© University of California Museum of Paleontology

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 0207 0031 [detail]
© 2007 John Blenis

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 0207 0479 [detail]
© 2007 John Blenis

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 0507 1074 [detail]
© 2007 Willem Frost

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 0507 1075 [detail]
© 2007 Willem Frost

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 0507 1076 [detail]
© 2007 Willem Frost

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 0507 1078 [detail]
© 2007 Willem Frost

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 0507 1079 [detail]
© 2007 Willem Frost

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 0507 1081 [detail]
© 2007 Willem Frost

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 0507 1082 [detail]
© 2007 Willem Frost

Odocoileus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 0507 1083 [detail]
© 2007 Willem Frost

Using these photos: A variety of organizations and individuals have contributed photographs to CalPhotos. Please follow the usage guidelines provided with each image. Use and copyright information, as well as other details about the photo such as the date and the location, are available by clicking on the [detail] link under the thumbnail. See also: Using the Photos in CalPhotos .   


Copyright © 1995-2016 UC Regents. All rights reserved.

CalPhotos is a project of BSCIT      University of California, Berkeley

Following modified from CalPhotos
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CalPhotos     Photo Database

 

Number of matches : 4
Query: SELECT * FROM img WHERE ready=1 and taxon like "Odocoileus virginianus couesi%" and (lifeform != "specimen_tag" OR lifeform != "Animal") ORDER BY taxon

Click on the thumbnail to see an enlargement

Odocoileus virginianus couesi
Odocoileus virginianus couesi
ID: 0000 3333 0531 1482 [detail]
© Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley

Odocoileus virginianus couesi
Odocoileus virginianus couesi
ID: 0000 3333 0531 5078 [detail]
© Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley

Odocoileus virginianus couesi
Odocoileus virginianus couesi
ID: 0000 3333 1721 1730 [detail]
© Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley

Odocoileus virginianus couesi
Odocoileus virginianus couesi
ID: 0000 3333 2431 3115 [detail]
© Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley

Using these photos: A variety of organizations and individuals have contributed photographs to CalPhotos. Please follow the usage guidelines provided with each image. Use and copyright information, as well as other details about the photo such as the date and the location, are available by clicking on the [detail] link under the thumbnail. See also: Using the Photos in CalPhotos .   


Copyright © 1995-2016 UC Regents. All rights reserved.

CalPhotos is a project of BSCIT      University of California, Berkeley

Following modified from CalPhotos
   Top | See original


CalPhotos     Photo Database

 

Number of matches : 1
Query: SELECT * FROM img WHERE ready=1 and taxon like "Odocoileus virginianus virginianus%" and (lifeform != "specimen_tag" OR lifeform != "Animal") ORDER BY taxon

Click on the thumbnail to see an enlargement

Odocoileus virginianus virginianus
Odocoileus virginianus virginianus
White-tailed Deer
ID: 0000 0000 1200 0237 [detail]
© 2000 John White

Using these photos: A variety of organizations and individuals have contributed photographs to CalPhotos. Please follow the usage guidelines provided with each image. Use and copyright information, as well as other details about the photo such as the date and the location, are available by clicking on the [detail] link under the thumbnail. See also: Using the Photos in CalPhotos .   


Copyright © 1995-2016 UC Regents. All rights reserved.

CalPhotos is a project of BSCIT      University of California, Berkeley

Updated: 2017-06-23 12:19:27 gmt
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