Whitetail Deer

Whitetail Deer

Whitetail deer are found everywhere in Montana. These deer occupy small home ranges and do not migrate far. They are mostly nocturnal, secretive and solitary much of the time but form small groups in favored feeding areas. When alarmed or running Whitetails display their signature when they erect and wag their tails, causing white underside to flash.

Whitetail Deer have a coat that is grayish-brown in winter and reddish-brown in summer. The underside of their foot-long tail is white. Their unique antlers consist of main beams, generally with three to five tines projecting upward and long brow tines. Mature bucks weigh 250 to 275 lbs. on good range while does are much smaller at 160 to 180 pounds. Females (does) are much smaller and except for an occasional freak, do not have antlers.

Whitetails mate in the fall, usually during November and fawns are born six months later, most often twins, but the range is 1-4. Life expectancy in the wild is 8 to 12 years if unhunted. Whitetails are normally active during early morning and evening, and again at midday if not harassed. They become nocturnal under high hunting pressure.

Wary and alert, a whitetail can run 35 mph for a short distance or 25 mph for several miles. Horizontal leaps of 30 feet and vertical leaps of 8 1/2 feet have been recorded. The whitetail is an excellent swimmer.

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