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Whitetail Deer 101


Common Types of Deer In The U.S.

Mule Deer - (O.h. hemionus) The Mule deer gets its name from the large mule-like ears on the top of it’s head.  The deer has white rump patch and a black tipped tail, which it keeps down while running. Mule deer have a long heavy grey coat in the winter months and a reddish tan coat during the warmer months. Male Mule deer weigh between 125 and 250 pounds, while females are usually smaller and only 100 to 150 pounds. Mule deer will make seasonal migrations between winter and summer ranges. During heavy winters mule deer will often migrate into cities and towns in search of food, usually ending up in your backyard gardens. Mule deer are browsers and will eat many different types of vegetation. Research has shown there are nearly 800 varieties of plants that mule deer will eat. In the spring and summer, mule deer bulk up on green plants and new growth. During the winter they mainly consume twigs and branches. Since mule deer are smaller than white tails, the standard strength poly deer fence is suitable for backyard gardens and small enclosures. To enclose the entire backyard, or for areas with heavy mule deer pressure, using a stronger fence such as the Extra Strength Perimeter Fence is recommended. Most deer will not try to jump a deer fence unless spooked, but it is important to have a fence height of at least 7.5’ to prevent easy access to your garden.


White-Tailed Deer - (Odocoileus Virginianus) White-tailed deer are usually tan or brown in color with white areas around the throat, eyes, and nose as well as the stomach. The signature strip of white on these deer can be found on the underside of the tail, often seen raised as a “flag” to allow fawns and other deer to follow behind. White-tails can run at speed up to 30 MPH and are excellent leapers, making a 7.5’ deer fence a must to keep them out of the garden. Male white-tailed deer weigh between 150 and 300 pounds while female weights range anywhere between 90 and 200 pounds. The white-tailed deer are common in most of the United States except for in the southwest. Most white-tail deer herds live their entire life within a one to four mile radius, usually in a wooded area. White-tailed deer are voracious herbivores, as most gardeners can attest. White-tails prefer to feed in the early morning or late afternoon. In the spring and summer deer are hungry for green plants and seemingly everything in the garden. By fall, their feeding habits switch to acorns, corn and varieties of nuts. During the winter, deer will mainly consume buds and twigs. Because of the size of white-tailed deer, using the standard strength deer fence is only recommended for small garden plots and individual garden beds. Larger areas and complete enclosures should be constructed using the Extra Strength or Millennium Deer Fencing. These deer fences feature higher breaking strengths and are strong enough to withstand an impact without breaking. It is important to make sure your deer fence is at least 7.5’ high to counter the excellent leaping abilities of the white-tail deer.