Florida Fauna & Flora – Whitetail Deer

Florida Fauna & Flora – Whitetail Deer

Whitetail deer are the smallest members of the North American deer family. This deer is found throughout Florida from the Panhandle to The Keys. Whitetail deer are so named for its ability to raise its tail like a white flag to warn other deer of danger nearby.


This deer has sharp hearing, a keen sense of smell, an athletic body and an apprehensive personality. In summer, whitetail deer are a brownish-red, but in winter their coat changes to a grayish-brown color. This color change happens quickly in just a few weeks.


A whitetail deer’s size varies depending on its habitat. Florida’s adult male whitetail deer are much smaller than the reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh. Its average weight is 115 pounds, but deer found in North Florida can reach upwards of 190 pounds. Females are generally smaller than males and average 90 to 120 pounds.


Males or “bucks” grow antlers each spring which are often used in fights to establish dominance and compete for females during breeding season. Females or “does” give birth to one to three fawns in late spring to early summer. In the wild, a whitetail deer will typically live about 5 years, but some have been found to be as old as 11 years.


Read the full December 2019 SECO News online.

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