The City Magazine Since 1975

Racking Up

Racking Up
December 2011
(Odocoileus virginianus)

With a population of 20 to 25 million, the white-tailed deer is the most widespread deer species in North America.

  • These animal kingdom Olympians can run up to 40 miles an hour, swim 13 miles an hour, and jump as high as 10 feet and as far as 30.
  • These herbivores are primarily nocturnal or crepuscular, browsing for leaves, twigs, fruit, nuts, corn, and lichens at dawn and dusk.
  • This deer displays the white underside of its tail to warn others of danger. A mother also uses it to help her fawns follow her when running. 
  • The smallest of the five North American deer species can be found in southern Canada and much of the United States, except for the Southwest, Alaska, and Hawaii.
  • A buck grows antlers annually, shedding them in winter. The racks get increasingly larger until ages five to seven and then go into decline.