Naturalist’s Corner – Deer!

Naturalist’s Corner – Deer!

Posted December 18, 2019

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Photo of a buck, courtesy of Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

 

White-tailed deer are one of the most abundant of the five deer species in North America. They have a widespread distribution; they are found in woodland areas in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Deer typically forage at dusk and dawn, and they are strictly herbivores, meaning they only eat plants, which includes nuts, fruit, leaves, bark, and twigs.

Male white-tailed deer, called bucks, grow antlers on their heads, which is bone covered in hairs called velvet. This fuzzy velvet has blood vessels that help the antlers grow. Each winter, the bucks drop their antlers, and they grow new and bigger antlers in the spring. The growth of the white-tailed deer population has led to competition for space and resources within the species, as well as with humans. Hunting quotas have been established in an attempt to curb the population, which has given people the opportunity for recreation and provided an additional source of food.

Whether you plan on hunting during the appropriate season or just want to walk the trails, please be safe. Be aware of your surroundings, and be sure to wear your blaze orange clothing to increase your visibility.

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