deer feeding time

White-tailed deer - October Morning, Southern New York

The leaves of blackgum trees, already ablaze in scarlet, attract a fawn, doe and buck. After the green growth of summer fades, northern deer exploit twigs, dried leaves and evergreen needles in fall and winter.  In any season, white-tailed deer spend more time feeding than doing anything else. 

This six-month-old fawn  has already molted its spotted coat.  Female fawns that are well nourished can mate as early as their first autumn, and in later years can produce twins or triplets.  When the eating is good, white-tailed deer numbers can increase rapidly.

When escaping predators, these deer often lift their tails to show the white underside—a sign that says, “Too late—I’m leaving!”  Fawns, being particularly nervous, are frequent tail-flaggers. 

This diorama is located in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals.