|A B C ALL WILDLIFE REMOVAL|
|LIFE CYCLE INFORMATION|
White-tailed deer are easily identified by the white underside of their tail, which is visible as the animal flees. They have a reddish-brown coat during most of the year, but their fur turns a grayish color during the winter. Adult white-tailed deer have a white belly and throat patch and a white band across the nose. Males grow their first set of antlers, which are shed on a yearly basis, during the summer of their first year. Antlers get progressively bigger as the deer matures; however, the size of a deer’s antlers is more related to the general health of the animal than to its age. White-tailed deer stand approximately 3 ft at the shoulder and are approximately 6 ft Long. They range in weight from 50 to 350 lbs, with an average of about 125 lbs. Males generally are larger and heavier than females. Young, called fawns, exhibit white spots on their fur until after their first year.
Habitat and Biology
White-tailed deer range from southern Canada throughout all of the continental United States except for portions of the far West. They inhabit all of South Carolina, from coastal marshes to mountain forests, but have a preference for mixed young forests, old fields, and croplands.
The following discussion of whitetail natural history is summarized from Moore (1978). Male and female deer reach sexual maturity at 1.5 years of age or during their second fall. White-tails are polygamous breeders, with one male mating several females during the breeding season, which extends from late August through January. The gestation period ranges from 190 to 210 days. A doe giving birth for the first time generally bears a single fawn, with successive birthing often producing twins Sex ratio of new-born is generally even with more males born in overpopulated herds and more females born in expanding herds (Verme 1985). The mother nurses them for 8 months, after which time the young deer may remain with their mother for up to 1 year before setting out on their own. Many reproductive characteristics of the population, such as timing of breeding, fertility rates, conception rates, age at first breeding, and sex ratios, are dependent upon population density, habitat conditions, and genetics (Jacobson and Guynn 1995).Male fawns exhibit rudimentary antler growth, resulting in small knobs known as "buttons." Noticeable antler growth, usually two or more antler points, occurs on second year or yearling bucks. Antler development is largely dependent on adequate nutrition.