, Research Paper
The white-tailed deer is faced with many obstacles such as: finding food in every situation, confrontation with fellow deer, and battling the changing seasons. The adaptive senses that the deer possesses makes escaping hunters and other predators easier as well as keeping alive. I. Introduction II. Foods and feeding of the white-tailed deer A. Acorns are the primary food for the white-tailed deer 1. Whitetails feed heavily on white and red oak acorns 2. Acorns low in protein and high in carbohydrates 3. When acorns are plentiful the deer can put on a few extra pounds B. Deer feed heavily on leaves, twigs, and low growing plants C. Feed on hunters food plots and farmland III. Senses A. Sense of smell 1. Strongest sense 2. Used in defense from hunters 3. Glands B. Sense of sight 1. Can see the smallest of movement 2. Used in defense from hunters 3. Can detect the color red in various shades C. Sense of sound 1. Can hear the lowest of noises 2. Used in defense from hunters 3. A fawn bleats like a sheep 4. A wounded deer sounds like a goat 5. A doe will snort when alarmed and for no reason 6. The buck makes a grunting for communication IV. Scrapping and rubbing A. Are proof it is a buck s territory 1. Scarred trees are called rubs 2. Pawed-out spot on the ground is called scrapes 3. There are two kinds of rubs B. Scrapping helps the doe to find bucks scent 1. The buck stirs up the soil and then urinates to leave his scent 2. The buck will reach up and chew on the branches to leave even more scent 3. Does find scrapes and urinate on the spot and wait for the buck C. Happens during breeding season 1. Breeding season marks the beginning of the whitetail s life cycle. 2. May take place from September to late February D. Helps Hunters find bucks 1. Hunters look for a strong urine odor 2. Hunters look for freshly turned dirt V. Rut A. Known as the breeding season B. Bucks battle for territory C. Bucks clash their antlers together 1. Hunters rattle antlers by banging them together to imitate a fight between two bucks 2. Causes exhaustion and sometimes death of a buck 3. Causes deformation of a buck s antlers during the growing period VI. Seasons A. Hunting Season is in the winter 1. It begins in October and ends in late January 2. Many deer are killed by the guns of hunters B. Bucks shed their antlers in spring after the breeding season 1. How long a buck keeps his antlers depends on what he has eaten 2. They reach full size in twelve to sixteen weeks C. Bedding occurs mainly during the summer 1. A pressed-down spot in leaves, grass, snow, or pine needles 2. Deer bed where they can see oncoming danger D. Buck s antlers form velvet in summer E. Bucks go into groups during fall 1. They congregate together in groups of three or four 2. They break up just before the rut season VII. Predators A. Coyotes are the deer s main predator 1. They mostly kill the fawns 2. They are unable mature deer B. In the North mesquites kill many deer C. Cougars are another threat to the deer D. Many deer die of starvation 1. During the winter food is scarce 2. Acorns are their main source of winter food E. Farmers kill deer because of crop damage F. Hunters kill deer 1. Some for food 2. Some for the sport
Life of a White Tailed Deer 8th Grade The white-tailed deer is one of the smartest game animals in the world. The white-tailed deer ranks as one of the smartest and elusive game animals in the world (Fears 5). It has the ability to detect and avoid danger. It is faced with many obstacles such as: finding food in every situation, confrontation with fellow deer, and battling the changing seasons. The adaptive senses that the deer possesses makes escaping hunters and other predators easier as well as keeping alive. White-tailed deer eat low growing and reachable vegetation such as white and red oak acorns, twigs and leaves. Acorns are low in protein and high in carbohydrates to give quick energy. When acorns are plentiful the deer can put on a few extra pounds. They also feed on hunters food plots and their farmland. Farmers have no choice but to kill when white-tail is caught eating their crops ( Deer Hunting 20). The white-tail s senses of hearing, sight, and smell are amazingly keen (Fears 131). The deer s strongest sense is that of smell. If you watch a deer in the woods you will notice that a deer s noise is always working. A deer s smell is so strong that if a hunter s scent is blowing at a deer, the deer can smell the hunter ( Fears 12). Because their sense of smell is so strong, hunters today have to overcome by buying deer scents to disguise the human scent. Many white-tails can recognize each other by the smell of their musk gland. In addition to their radar-like hearing, deer can spot the slightest movement (Fears 6). If a deer is being hunted, the deer s incredible sight could spot the hunter before the hunter spots the deer. Because of this the hunter wears camouflage to hide him from the deer. Hunters also have to be very careful not to make quick movements such as swinging their arms or feet. At one time deer were believed to be colorblind. Research today has proved that white-tails can see the color red and its different shades ( Field and Stream 35). White tails can hear several different sounds and make distinctions between other deer and danger. They can hear the lowest of noises which helps to defend them from hunters or other predators. All deer will snort, either when alarmed or to make an unidentified object move (Fears 7). Once alarmed a fleeing white-tail will find little time finding cover. A fawn looking for its mother bleats somewhat like a sheep, while a hurt deer will make a sound like that of a goat ( Deer Hunting 12). The buck makes a grunting sound to communicate with other deer. Hunters today buy grunt calls to hopefully attract bucks in the woods. Scrapping and rubbing are proof the hunter is in a buck s territory. Scrapping is made by the buck when he paws out an area on the ground with his front foot. He digs through leaves, grass, and twigs. Next the buck will use his antlers to sometimes stir up the soil and then will urinate in the scrape to leave his scent. When a buck scrapes, the doe will walk through the scrape. This way the buck can follow the doe s scent. Buck scrapes are made during the breeding season (Fears 58). Breeding season mark the beginning of the white-tail s life cycle. It takes place from September to late February. There are two kinds of rubs. The first is the type where the buck rubs the tree, peeling the bark off, to leave his scent during the breeding season. He also will rub the tree to strengthen his neck for fighting with other bucks during the rut or breeding season. Another reason bucks rub their antlers on trees is to shed the velvet from their antlers (Fear 12). Bucks will also chew branches on trees to leave even more scent for other deer to smell.