Whitetail deer are a fascinating species that are the most widely hunted animal on the North American continent. So it is no surprise that countless studies and research have been done over the years to better understand the most loved big game animal in North America. Here are 7 different facts that might change the way you view your local whitetail deer, and even the way you hunt!
1. Deer Face Downwind When Bedded
Most deer will face downwind when bedded in order to use their nose to cover their rear and their eyes to cover in front of them. This survival instinct can protect them from predators in both directions.
2. A Mature Deer Will Drink 4 to 6 Quarts a Day
Many hunters will say this is not important, as many deer will only drink at night. This is not the case, however, as deer need on average of 4 to 6 quarts a day. This means that they are watering at different hours of the day and a hunter can use this to their advantage if they know where the water sources are located at.
3. Deer Generally Bed Closer to Water
Just like the amount of water they drink, this little known fact can help hunters actually find the deer they are looking for. Deer will bed close to water sources to provide them quick and easy access to a drink. It may not be a large river or pond, as this water source could only be a spring or even a puddle, but nevertheless, mature deer love being near water.
4. The Average Range of a Buck in the Fall is 800 to 1100 Acres.
Bucks tend to roam much further in the fall due to the cooler weather, changing food sources, and of course, the rut. This area can be well over 1,000 acres, which is much larger than their home, core area that they will spend the majority of their time in the rest of the year.
5. Buck Are NOT Territorial
Many hunters believe that scrapes and rubs are a way of marking a buck’s territory. Instead, deer have a pecking order, and a mature deer will establish dominance over younger deer but he will not necessarily “kick them out” of his territory.
6. Whitetail Don’t See Bright Colors Very Well
Brighter colors appear as shades of grey to a deer. These shades are very easy for them to spot at night, but during the day, they are tougher for a deer to distinguish. This means you can wear bright orange clothing and a deer won’t have an easier time spotting you, and may even have a harder time picking you out.
7. Deer Eat More Than You Think
Whitetail will eat a giant amount of food on a regular day. A big, mature buck will usually eat around 20 pounds of food every day. This means they will definitely be feeding throughout the day and food sources are extra important!
If you did not know some of these facts, hopefully now you are a little more knowledgeable about our favorite big game species and can now use this knowledge to your advantage come hunting season! We always got the sharpest hunting guides over at the Bradley Hunting Blog, so don’t forget to check it out!