Q:

What do white-tailed deer eat?

A:

Quick Answer

White-tailed deer are herbivores that eat leaves, acorns, fruits, twigs and grass. They may also feed on alfalfa, corn and even lichens when they are available. The white-tailed deer's diet changes throughout the seasons depending on what types of food are present.

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Full Answer

White-tailed deer are found throughout North America from southern Canada to Mexico. Small populations also exist in the northernmost parts of South America. They live mostly in fields, meadows and coniferous forests, which provide shade from the elements during the winter months. White-tailed deer are named for the white undersides of their tails. The rest of their coats are reddish-brown in color. Male white-tailed deer have large antlers, which they shed each winter. Male white-tailed deer are known as bucks, and females are known as does. Young deer are called fawns.

White-tailed deer are typically between 110 and 300 pounds when mature, with males being larger than females. They are preyed upon by bobcats, mountain lions, bears and coyotes. Although white-tailed deer are capable of fleeing at speeds up to 30 miles per hour, they are easy targets when weakened after hard winters. As human populations have expanded, white-tailed deer have become a nuisance in some residential areas. Hunting efforts are aimed towards keeping populations of white-tailed deer in check.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do white-tailed deer protect themselves?

    A:

    The primary way that white-tailed deer protect themselves when threatened is through fleeing, and they can run up to 30 miles per hour with great agility. White-tailed deer can jump very well and are also good swimmers, giving them several options for evading predators. They spot predators early, with large, sensitive ears and side-facing, motion-sensitive eyes.

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  • Q:

    What organizations provide rut maps for white-tailed deer?

    A:

    The Department of Natural Resources and the Wildlife Resources Divisions of states with outstanding white-tailed deer populations, such as Georgia and Texas, usually provide rut maps showing the whitetails' breeding dates. Some hunting and recreational sites, such as Field and Streams and UC Hunting Properties, also provide rut maps.

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  • Q:

    What kind of plants and veggies do deer like to eat?

    A:

    Deer eat twigs, branches, leaves, fruits, grass, nuts, alfalfa and fungi, depending on the availability and the season. During the spring, deer prefer sweet clover, wild beans and poison ivy, while in the winter they subsist on coralberry, wheat and rye.

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  • Q:

    What should you feed whitetail deer?

    A:

    White-tailed deer are primarily herbivores, so they eat all sorts of plants, such as switch grass, American holly, ferns, aquatic plants and poison ivy. However, depending on what's available, white-tailed deer also eat alfalfa, nuts, grass or fungi.

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