What Blacktail Deer Do On Your Land


Blacktail deer tend to live short lives from 5-10 years and throughout that time they face many challenges from finding food and shelter and mates, to avoiding predators and surviving the maze of roads that dangerously crisscross their habitat. Deer predators include cougars, coyotes, bears and humans, and their helpless fawns are prey for bobcats and eagles as well.

Mating season occurs in the late fall, and is a very active time, especially for male deer. Bucks compete for the right to breed, sparring with other males and showing off the antlers they have grown since the past winter. The size and number of antler points can be impacted by a deer’s age, nutrition, and overall health. Antler size can therefore serve to showcase a buck’s physical condition to mates and establish dominance among bucks.

In the late spring spotted fawns are born to does. Often does give birth to twins, but generally no more than one will survive to maturity. Those fawns that survive their first months will lose their spots as they grow winter coats, while bucks are fighting and adults are mating, and the cycle begins again.

Wildlife note: Deer antlers fall to the forest floor each winter where they are chewed by smaller animals like mice, squirrels, hares and porcupines, who are craving minerals or looking to sharpen their front teeth.  

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