In winter, when they're most hungry, deer browse whatever they can find. Spring and summer, they're a problem for tender crops and flowers. In fall, ripening apples tempt them.
Deer have no front teeth but strip bark by raking their incisors upward, making two-inch gouges. When deer eat foliage, they tear it off, leaving ragged edges.
General Deer Facts
Whitetail deer have played a very important role in the history of our country. They were used extensively by Native Americans for both food and clothing and also by the early settlers.
Extensive clearing of land, unregulated hunting, and loss of habitat brought the whitetail deer population to a record low by the late 1800’s.
Changing land uses, strict game laws, and a lack of natural large predators have caused the whitetail deer population to rebound dramatically. Whitetail deer are the number one game animal in the United States.
A full grown white-tailed deer will weigh approximately 150 pounds or more. They are nocturnal and typically live for 16 years in the wild.
A deer’s hearing, being far superior to that of a human, can easily detect a faint sound. It is believed that a deer’s hearing is so sensitive that it can determine how far away a sound was made.
A deer’s hearing is one of the reasons that it is so difficult to sneak up on it without being detected. The ears of a deer are vital in helping it avoid danger.
When a deer hears a sound it will instantly turn its head and point its ears in the direction of the sound. The deer will focus all of its attention on smelling, looking and listening for any more signs of danger. If the deer doesn’t smell, see or hear any danger, after checking the area several times, it will usually go back to its normal routine.
A deer’s eyes are located on the side of their head. The advantage is that deer are able to view 310 degrees around themselves! This wide view allows the deer to be totally aware of the surroundings, even when it is staring straight ahead.
The disadvantage is that deer cannot focus on one location with both eyes. This causes the deer to have very poor depth perception.
Deer also see at a lower resolution than humans, and are believed to be color blind.
It is believed that deer can also see in the ultraviolet light range, which is abundant during the early morning and late afternoon. This ability to see better in early morning and late afternoon helps to explain why deer are more active during these time periods.
Deer Sense of Smell
Deer have a highly developed sense of smell; it is one of their best weapons for detecting approaching danger. The moist nose of a deer, similar to that of a dog, allows the deer to pick up the faintest of odors.
The odor particles, drifting by on the breeze, stick to the moisture on the deer’s nose and are then drawn into the olfactory organs. A deer can detect the odor of approaching danger several hundred yards away.
Deer are primarily browsers. They enjoy a variety of fruits, vegetables, plant buds and shoots, bark and shrubs.
There are some Deer resistant plants available.