White-Tailed Fawn

A fawn in Stokes State Forest

White-tailed deer are the smallest members of the North American deer family.  They can run at speeds up to 30 miles per hour, leap as high as 10 feet and as far as 30 feet and can swim up to 13 miles per hour.

Located on the sides of their heads, their eyes give them 310 degrees of vision.  They


have a four-chambered stomach and highly specialized teeth that help them bite through vegetation and grind it up when they chew.

They get their name from the white hair growing on the underside of their tails, which they use to communicate with other deer.  When they sense danger, they raise their tails, stomp the ground and snort.

The does give birth to 1-3 young at a time, usually in May or June, after a gestation period of seven months.  The fawns are born with reddish, spotted coats that help to camouflage them.  They are also born odorless, so as not to attract predators.

If a doe has twins, she will hide them in different locations and stay out of the area to minimize her scent, which could attract predators.  However, she will usually stay within 100 yards of her young.

White-tailed buck

White-tailed buck in Delaware Water Gap NRA

Bucks have a prominent set of antlers that are grown in the spring and shed in the winter.  They are used to fight other bucks during the rut, when they are competing for females.  In rare cases, females will grow antlers due to abnormally levels of



testosterone.  Shed whitetail deer antlers are rarely found in nature, they are often eaten by rodents and other small animals because they are rick in calcium and other nutrients.