There are many deer of this type that roam freely around the grounds at Bays Mountain Park. We have some that we keep safe in a special habitat where we take care of them and allow them to be easily viewed by the public. Males are called bucks and females are called does. Bucks are easily identified by their antlers (called a rack). Antlers are made of bone and have points called tines. Antlers are shed in late winter, then a new set of antlers start to grow. Mating occurs in late fall and does give birth to one ore two bablies (fawns) about six months later. Fawns spend a great deal of time sitting alone while their mother is foraging elsewhere. White spots on the fawn’s coat help them be camouflaged.
When deer are alarmed they may stomp and snort to warn other deer. They also raise their tail so that the white fur underneath can be seen; this is called “flagging.” Deer can jump an 8 foot tall fence, swim 13 miles per hour, and can run up to 40 miles per hour.
Deer are herbivores who feed on leaves, berries, seeds, nuts, and mushrooms. They feed early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Summer foods are green leaves from trees, shrubs, and aquatic plants such as water lilies. Winter foods are acorns, other nuts, and twigs of woody plants. Deer have a stomach with four chambers which helps them digest these foods. Our deer eat a mixture of wheat, oats, corn, apples, carrots, and sorghum.