Deer Facts
Deer Facts

40 Fun Deer Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published August 19, 2022
  • Growing deer populations have pushed many of North America's native wildflowers to the brink of extinction.[5]
  • There are more deer currently alive in the United States than there were when the Pilgrims first landed on North American shores.[5]
  • In the United States, white-tailed deer are the most-hunted game animal.[5]
  • Like human fingerprints, the antlers of each male white-tailed deer are different from the antlers of all other members of its species.[5]
  • The combined deer population of the United States and Canada is around 40 million.[5]
  • Mule deer are the most populous deer species in America.[4][5]
  • Deer have four toes: two hooves and two "dew claws," which are positioned higher up on the leg.[5]
  • Deer are part of a class of animal called ruminants, because they re-chew cud.[5]
  • Deer are herbivores.[5]
  • Chinese Water Deer
    As its name suggests, the water deer prefers wet and swampy locales
  • Chinese water deer is the only deer species in which males don't grow antlers.[1]
  • Deer belong to the same animal family as elk, caribou, and moose.[5]
  • When something alarms them, female white-tailed deer raise their tails, which sends a warning to other deer to flee the area.[6]
  • Deer are native to all of Earth's continents except Antarctica and Australia, although they have been introduced to the latter.[5]
  • White-tailed deer have twice as many genetic variables as most other creatures, allowing them to thrive through adaptation to a greater variety of conditions.[5][7]
  • In North America, white-tailed deer have occasionally interbred with mule and blacktail deer, but their offspring tend to lack the special characteristics of their parentage necessary for survival and are usually infertile.[5]
  • Deer belong to the Cervidae family of mammals, the second most diverse mammalian family in the world.[1]
  • White-tailed deer can "bound" across distances of more than 28 feet in a single jump.[5]
  • Many deer have evolved the capacity to "stot”—to both land on and take off from all four hooves in a single jump—as an aid to escape predators.[5]
  • Moose are the largest species of deer.[1][2]
  • Moose facts
    The mighty moose can weigh as much as 1,500 pounds

  • There are deer living within a mile of almost all human populations on Earth.[6]
  • More information has been published about white-tailed deer than about any other mammal in the world.[6]
  • Male white-tailed deer lose their antlers annually during wintertime.[6]
  • A small number of deer species are monogamous, mating with only one partner over a lifetime.[1]
  • In order to express visible signs of concern about a situation, some male deer emit a pheromone that causes patches of hair on their legs to spread open, creating the appearance of white spots.[6]
  • Caribou herds have been observed to have populations of up to 100,000 individuals.[1]
  • Southern pudu deer
    The tiny pudu only weighs in at around 20 pounds
  • The southern pudu, which on average only grows to a height of 14 inches, is the smallest species of deer.[1]
  • Caribou (also known as reindeer) are the only deer species in which both the males and the females grow antlers.[1]
  • While they are still growing, deer antlers are covered with a substance containing nerves and blood vessels called "velvet.” When this covering dies, the deer will rub its antlers against an object to remove it.[1]
  • The African continent is unique in that it has only one native species of deer, the Barbary red deer.[1]
  • Deer are social animals and usually travel in herds.[1]
  • Most deer herds are led by a single dominant male.[1]
  • Some herds of deer segregate themselves into male and female sub-groups.[1]
  • Deer are most active at sunrise and dusk.[3]
  • Doe and Fawn
    Fawns grow to full maturity in just a few years' time
  • When they are born, baby deer have no body odor, which helps them to remain undetected by nearby predators.[6]
  • Deer breeding seasons vary according to climate.[1]
  • The average deer lives for 11 to 12 years.[3]
  • Deer don't fully mature until they reach a certain size, meaning that individuals whose growth is below average never reach full adulthood.[1]
  • Due to disagreements in the scientific community about how to classify deer species, there is no consensus about how many species currently exist; most zoological groups cite a number between 47 and 51.[1][2]
  • Lacking antlers, male Chinese water deer grow unusually long canine teeth, which they display in order to attract mates.[1]
  • The long, vampire-like fangs of the musk deer are sold on the black market for around $20,000 a pound.[1]
    Deer Infographic Thumbnail

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