This species of deer is far from being endangered, much more extinct. In the early 1900s, there were an estimated half a million white tails in the United States alone. Today, their population has grown to an impressive and lauded 15 million! It is good news not just for hunters but the general public and animal rights advocates.
For a while, there was a concern that their numbers would drop because the fierce cold winters we’ve had the past few year. Add to that, winter months seemed longer and snow was heavier which many predicted would not be good for any animal living in the wild.
Researchers know that the white-tailed deer is very adaptable. It can find food even in unusual circumstances as well as sufficient shelter. They seem to know exactly what kind of food would be nutritious and not rot over the cold months. During the warm months, they like to collect food. They pick the right food items like nuts, grass, and farm crops. On occasion, they have also stored wild fruits.
It is fascinating how the mother deer pushes her children to become mature at the age of a year and a half. The mother starts to attack her children in an effort to teach them how to fend for themselves. It toughens them up so they spread out and learn to survive on their own. Mother deer are extremely strong and can resist the cries of her children who want to nurse or come close to them. They can easily reject their children. It’s a cycle that researcher call “dispersal.”
One good offshoot of this dispersal tactic is that there is no inbreeding which means no mutation. If one sees a group of whitetails, they are usually of different ages but never parents with children. The male bachelors tend to stick together and socialize when they are to mate.
Females generally hibernate for over 6 months before giving birth. It isn’t uncommon to find them giving birth to triplets or twins.
This cycle and the fact that they can adapt easily are the main reasons why the whitetail deer has managed to grow in numbers, and are expected to live long.