Preferred Habitat

While whitetail deer can be seen almost anywhere, they are primarily a forest dwelling species. However, even within the forest deer preferred habitat is thick, brushy, secondary tree growth with a thick understory. While they will venture into wide-open mature timber, they prefer to be in denser forest types, and when pressured will likely be in the thickest cover available.  When hunting pressure is high, they may venture into open woods only after dark.

This is very different from western Mule deer which often prefer open mountain basins with few, if any trees. Blacktail deer, found in the Pacific Northwest, behave more like Whitetail deer and generally prefer thicker habitat.

This section is best taught with photographs of different forest understory types. We recommend that forest types also be covered in the remote scouting section when demonstrating the usefulness of Google Earth and other aerial photographs.



White-Tailed Deer

A relatively small deer with relatively short ears; all major points of the antlers come off the main beam; tail relatively long, broad basally, and white underneath; metatarsal gland small and circular; females usually antlerless; upperparts reddish brown in summer, bright grayish fawn sprinkled with black in winter; face and tail usually lack blackish markings; underparts white. Dental formula as in the mule deer. External measurements average: (males) total length, 1,800 mm; tail, 300 mm; hind foot, 450 mm; females slightly smaller. Weight of males, 3070 kg.