Deer | Cervids
Deer are cloven hooved even-toed ungulates which range in size from 1.25’-6.5’ (.4-1.9 m) with all species, except for one, having antlers. Male deer grow antlers (except for reindeer where both males and females grow antlers) which are covered in velvet until fully grown when the velvet dies and they rub it off on vegetation.
Deer exist on every continent besides Australia and Antarctica and live in temperate, alpine, wetlands, and grasslands. A social animal, deer travel in herds and are most active during dawn and dusk. Being herbivores, much of a deer’s day is spent foraging for grasses, small shrubs, and leaves.
Deer are herbivores and generally eat grass, nuts, twigs, alfalfa, corn, fruit, and fungi. Their diet fluctuates all year to what is available each season. During the winter deer tend to eat buds, bark, and shoots, while in the spring and summer time they will generally eat corn, and acorns.
Deer shed their antlers once a year usually between January and April. The shedding process takes between 2 to 3 weeks and it can take from 24 to 48 hours for the antlers to fall off. Deer will grow new antlers throughout the summer.
Deer are able to sleep in spaces that feel safe and offer protection to them. They typically bed in places that shield them against cold temperatures and winds. They also like to be near food sources, and once they find a bedding space that they like they may go back to the same location often.