Thursday, November 7, 2013

D is for Deer

Does at HNWR, by Dana Handy

Thanks to Google and the multitude of white-tailed deer sites on the Internet, we were able to compile a Deer Alphabet this week.

A is for antler – and annual – male deer have antlers which are shed annually (only reindeer and caribou females have antlers)

B is for buck – the adult male deer

C is for coat – for the white-tail deer, the species found at Hagerman NWR, the coats are reddish in summer and gray (and heavier) in winter

D is for doe – the adult female deer

E is for ears which the white-tail can rotate 180 degrees

F is for fawn - the young deer stay with their mothers for about two years

G is for grazing – deer eat only plant life - grasses, leaves, twigs, acorns, etc.

H is for hooves – deer are Artiodactyls; they have hooves and an even number of toes.

I is for inches –  racks, or the antlers,  are measured in inches

J is for jumping – deer can leap a barrier up to 10’ high and broad jump up to 30’

K is for kicking very hard with their legs in fight situations

L is for listening – deer have keen ears and can pick up high frequency sounds

M is for [ruminant] mammals, in the family Cervidae

N is for nose – the deer nose is about 100 times more sensitive than the human nose

O is for odor - deer can smell human scent on underbrush for days after the person leaves the area

P is for points on the antlers, also called tines

Q is for quick – deer can sprint up to 30 mph

R is for rut – the mating season which lasts from about October to January

S is for scent glands in the feet and legs of the deer which help communicate with other deer along a trail

T is for territory - a buck will mark his territory by stomping on the ground to make "scrapes" on the land and rubbing his antlers on trees ("buck rub")

U is for United States – white-tailed deer are native to much of the U.S.

V is for vision – with eyes on the sides of their head, deer have a 310 degree view

W is for the white of the White-tailed deer tail, which the deer can raise to signal danger

X is for Deer Crossing (bet you thought we would not get this one!) – deer crossings are hazardous for both deer and drivers - it is estimated that 1.5 million cars collide with deer annually

Y is for young deer – their coat is reddish brown with white spots, for camouflage, which fade as the first winter coat grows

Z is for making deer z’s – often bedding by laying on their right side and facing downwind, in order to  detect danger approaching from any direction

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