White Tail Deer
White-tailed deer vary in size depending on the habitat. Adult male deer in Florida average 115 pounds, but can reach 190 pounds or more in North Florida. The smaller females average 90 pounds with larger females weighing 120 pounds or more. The males, or bucks, have antlers, and they grow a new set every year. Antler growth generally begins in the spring and by the summer the antlers are covered with a velvety tissue that dries up and peels off. The buck rubs the antlers against trees, which eventually removes the remaining velvet, leaving the antlers hard and smooth. Antlers are important features during the animal’s breeding season when bucks will often fight to establish dominance. Antlers are shed in late winter or early spring after the breeding season ends.
When deer are alarmed, the tails are held erect and waved back and forth like a white flag, signaling a warning to other deer. When they are nervous, deer will stomp a foot and snort, before running off. Deer are most active at dawn and dusk. They are primarily browsers, feeding on the leaves, shoots, flowers and fruits of trees, shrubs, and forbs.