Photo Credit: Ted Beringer
White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) can be found virtually all over Kansas wherever there are natural woodlands, riparian corridors and grasslands, especially near cropfields. Their highest densities occur in the eastern third of the state. White-tailed deer feed mostly at dawn and dusk on leaves, stems, buds and bark, acorns, grain crops and alfalfa. They have relatively short ears and are tawny brown in color. Their bushy tail, brown above and white below, “flags” fromside to side when they are running. Whitetails are excellent swimmers, can run 35 miles per hour and jump an 8-foot fence. Bucks have antlers with 3-6 unforked points on each beam that are shed in late winter. The peak of the whitetail breeding season, or rut, occurs in November. Young does usually have one fawn in May or June while twins are usually the norm in older does. They can live up to 15 years in the wild. For more on Kansas ungulates, visit the Great Plains Nature Center at http://www.gpnc.org/deerwt.htm.