Indiana Whitetail Deer Created by Duane Malloy Indiana Whitetail Deer •Very likely to be seen at O’Bannon Woods. •Close to extinction in Indiana in the 1930’s, due to overhunting. •In 1934, the Division of Fish and Game began restocking with about 400 deer which were trapped and transferred from other nearby states. Classification and Characteristics •The best known characteristics of this family is that males (called bucks) have antlers. •The number of points on a buck's rack is not an indication of age. A combination of factors, including age, nutrition and genetics affect antler development. •An average adult males weighs 175 pounds. Classification and Characteristics •Deer are in their prime at three to six years of age. •They may live to 20 years or more in captivity, but in the wild, a whitetail that lives to age 10 is considered old. •Females (called does) weigh about 120 pounds. Classification and Characteristics •Young deer, called fawns, wear a reddish-brown coat with white spots that helps them blend in with the forest. •In August and September, the summer coat is shed; the fawn loses its spots and prepares for winter along with adult deer. Reproduction •Does may breed at six to seven months of age but generally breed for the first time when 1 1/2 years old. •Bucks are physiologically ready to breed at 1 1/2 years of age •Fawns are born in late May or early June after 200-day gestation period. Reproduction •A doe in good condition will generally produce two fawns. •At birth, fawns weigh only four to eight pounds; however they grow rapidly, doubling their weight in just two weeks. •Fawns will usually travel with their mother through their first winter. Food Habits •Deer consume primarily wild herbs, fruits and agricultural crops when available. •Farmers suffer damaged crops particularly corn and soybeans, due to deer. •I saw over 100 deer when spotlighting, mostly in soybean fields. Defense •They use speed and agility to outrun predators. •Sprinting up to 30 miles per hour. •Leaping as high as 10 feet and as far as 30 feet in a single bound. •You can see how they get their name, “Whitetail”. Hunting •The number of deer in Indiana has increased steadily since their reintroduction in the 1930s. •Concerns about deer vehicle collisions and crop damage by deer led to the lowering of the deer population in selected counties in the 1980s. Hunting •Deer hunting provides recreation to nearly 200,000 Hoosier sportsman each year.