57 Interesting Facts About Deer That You Should Know

Last updated on June 3rd, 2023

51. Deer is plural even for multiple Deer

In case you didn’t notice, deer is plural. While referring to one or many Deer, the word still remains “deer.”

52. Deer are not native to Australia

They are not native to Australia and Antarctica. They were game animals in the 19th century.

53. There are six different types of deer species in Australia

Interestingly, Australia has six species of Deer: Fallow Deer, Chital, Red Deer, Hog deer, Sambar, And Rusa.

54. Deer have been around for more than 10 million years

Found in Mongolia, they have been around for at least 10 million years and came to the United States approximately 4 million years ago.

Red deer with antlers in forest
Photo © Jevtic

55. Deer bow to people for food

In Japan, Nara prefecture, people and deer lived in harmony for over 1300 years. They are “bowing deers” because to get the food they bow to people.

56. Trapped Deer rescued by Canadians

Deer were rescued after being trapped on a frozen lake. They blew them to the shore with a helicopter downdraft.

57. Species of Deer who won’t cross the border

These species of deer are found in Germany, even though the border has been physically gone for more than 20 years.

White-tailed Deer Facts

White-tailed deer buck in the winter snow
White-tailed deer buck in the winter snow. Photo © Jim Cumming

1. The females, called does, are usually solitary except when they have babies, called fawns.

2. Fawns are light brown in color with white spots. They lose their spots when they get older.

3. The bucks live in small groups of 3-4 except during breeding season. Does generally weigh 90-200 pounds and males 150-300 pounds.

4. This species earned its name from the white under its tail.

5. When alarmed, they raise their tail and flash the white. It also has white under its neck, inside its ears, and around its eyes.

6. These deer are a popular hunting target throughout the United States.

7. They generally feed in the early morning and late afternoon and hunts are often formed around these patterns, due to the fact that these deer tend to create and use the same trails to their favorite feeding areas.

Mule deer facts

Mule Deer Buck
Mule Deer Buck in a field of tall grass at sunrise. Interesting facts about deer. Photo © Gary Gray

1. Mule Deer have large ears, which is how they got their unique name.

2. These deer are found throughout the entirety of the Western United States, including desert areas, where they have adapted to the extreme temperatures.

3. They move between elevations to help them manage the heating and cooling that comes with the desert environment. This adaptation is not limited to temperature, as these deer eat a variety of desert plants that many herbivores would turn their noses up at, such as mesquite and cat claw.

4. These deer live 9-11 years in the wild, but in captivity can live to be much older.

5. Does usually have twin fawns, but first timers sometimes just have one.

6. These deer can be up to seven feet long.

7. In addition to humans, their predators include mountain lions (cougars) and coyotes, though coyotes are generally only troublesome when traveling in packs or to babies.

Hog deer facts

Hog Deer, axis porcinus
Hog Deer, axis porcinus. Photo © Slowmotiongli

1. They were once abundant throughout the regions of Pakistan, India, Bhutan, and Thailand, but are now considered endangered. This species is also present in Australia and the United States, having been introduced there.

2. They prefer to live in open areas as opposed to dense forests.

3. They look a bit different than some more common deer species, with a short face.

4. They communicate with one another using barks and whistles, especially when alarmed.

5. They hold their head low when running, similar to a hog, thus earning their name.

Red deer facts

An adult red deer
An adult red deer. Interesting facts about deer. Photo © Honourableandbold

1. Red Deer are easy to identify from the color that gives them their name-they are a deep red-brown all over during most of the year. However, in the winter, their hair becomes more grayish-brown.

2. They have very unique antlers that are especially long and branching, sweeping up and backwards.

3. This is the only species of deer that lives in Africa. They can also be found in Europe, Asia, and have been introduced in North and South America and Oceania.

4. These deer appreciate a variety of territories, including swamps, grasslands, and forests. Unlike some species, they are social, living in herds of up to 400 individuals at times.

5. They are crepuscular, or most active early in the morning and at sunset.

Red Brocket facts

two brocket red deer stag
Two brocket red deer stag in autumn meadow. Photo © StockPhotoAstur

1. Red Brocket deer are the largest type of a subspecies known as Brocket Deer. There are about ten species of Brocket Deer that live in the Americas.

2. Their genus, or family group is known as Mazama. They have small bodies, 65-80 centimeters at the shoulder.

3. These are tropical deer, living in the rainforests of Central and South America.

4. The time of year in which they mate varies greatly depending on where they live, and as a result, not a lot is known about the mating habits of this species. However, rainfall does seem to have a lot to do with their mating habits.

5. Females 0-4 years of age generally have twins, and older females usually only one offspring.

6. Their average lifespan in the wild is 7-12 years, and slightly higher in captivity, though data is limited due to their shyness.

Northern Pudu facts

A small northern Pudu
A small cute northern Pudu. Photo © Wirestock

1. The Northern Pudu holds the title for the smallest type of deer in the world. They are usually less than 13 pounds at maturity.

2. They are native to South America, and prefer to live at higher elevations.

3. These deer have short, spike-like antlers.

4. The gestation period of the Pudu is 200 days. Babies stay with their mothers for about a year before going off on their own. Otherwise, they are a solitary creature.

5. These deer are very shy, so scientists have limited information about their lifestyle and habits.

6. There is also a Southern Pudu species of deer that is of similar size.

7. The name for these deer comes from an Indigenous word from the area, Mapudungun. A common term for them is “Chilean Mountain Goat”.

Black-tailed deer facts

Black-tailed Buck Deer With Antlers
A buck black-tailed deer with a full rack of antlers standing on a hill. Deer facts. Photo © Matthew Ragen

1. Black-tailed deer are a subspecies of mule deer.

2. Like their name suggests, their tail is black. It is triangular in shape and has a white underside.

3. They are native to the Pacific Northwest, east to the Cascade Mountains.

4. The black-tailed deer prefers to live in very dense forested areas rather than open fields. However, they do appreciate recently disturbed areas like clearcuts or burns where new plants are making an appearance.

5. There is a legal season for hunting black-tailed deer in Oregon.

Fallow deer facts

Fallow deer
Fallow deer. Photo © Ihar Balaikin

1. There are several types of Fallow deer, including the European, Mesopotamian, and Common Fallow deer.

2. These species are found wild in many places but also in captivity throughout the world.

3. Bucks stand about three feet at the shoulder and weigh a little over 200 pounds, does are about half the weight.

4. When fleeing from predators, Fallow Deer move in a stiff-legged motion. This is called “stotting”.

5. They have a yellowish-brown coat with white spots that tends to get uniformly brown in the winter.

6. They have flat antlers that are the largest among deer species relative to their body size.

Thorold’s deer facts

Thorold`s Deer
Thorold`s Deer. Photo © Whiskybottle

1. Thorold’s Deer is also known as the White Lipped Deer.

2. It is native to the Tibetan Plateau, where it plays an important ecological role.

3. It has a white muzzle, mouth, and lips, giving it its common name. They also have rings of white around their eyes.

4. They have an impressive coat of hair that is twice as long in the winter as it is in the summer.

5. Only males have antlers, typically they have about six tines on each side, though some carry up to ten.

6. Unfortunately their populations have decreased rapidly in recent years due to overhunting. Some parts of these deer are used in Oriental medicine, resulting in their pursuit by humans.

Sambar facts

Male Sambar deer crossing a jungle river
Male Sambar deer crossing a jungle river. Photo © Nilanjan Bhattacharya

1. This group of deer is native to Asia and has many subspecies.

2. They are most notable for the ruff of hair, similar to a mane, that is present around the neck of males. This neck crest is used during mating season to attract a breeding partner.

3. Males also can make the hair stand on end to make themselves appear larger and more intimidating when threatened by a predator or another male.

4. Males are also known to urinate on themselves during the breeding season, known as the rut, in order to make themselves more attractive and noticeable to the females in the area and “tougher” looking to any other males around.

5. The Sambar is the largest of the Oriental species of deer. The type of habitat this species lives in varies from forest to grassland, but no matter where they choose to live, it must be near a water source as they are a water dependent group.

Elk facts

Elk deer
Elk deer. Photo © Sakalouski Uladzislau

1. Elk are the largest mammals found in Yellowstone National Park in the United States. They can also be found in Asia, though in prehistory, fossils of Elk and related species have shown their territory to be much larger worldwide.

2. Their presence in an ecosystem can affect vegetation, soil health, and the food chain. Males weigh about 700 pounds, females about 500. Males, or bulls, have antlers that begin growing in the spring and are shed each March or April.

3. Elk calves are usually born in May and June.

4. Elk are also known as Wapiti, which is a Shawnee Native American word.

5. The species has spiritual significance to some Native American groups. Elk are popular with hunters, and their meat is leaner than beef or chicken.

6. For many years, Elk were thought to be a subspecies of the Red Deer found throughout Europe. However, extensive DNA and morphological research has shown this to be an incorrect assumption, though the two species are distantly related as part of the cervidae, or deer family.

Moose facts

Wild Moose
Wild Moose. Photo © Vanessa Gifford

1. Moose are the largest of all deer species in the world. Males can weight up to and sometimes even over a ton.

2. They are the mascot for the state of Maine and featured on the state seal.

3. Male moose, known as bulls, have a flap of skin under their chin known as a dewlap. The size of the dewlap likely indicates dominance. It is also a way that the male can spread his scent during mating season.

4. Only bull moose have antlers, which can spread up to six feet in length. Moose are excellent swimmers, and they enjoy chowing down on many aquatic plants in addition to terrestrial vegetation.

5. Female moose give birth to singles, twins, or triplets. Babies are weaned at about five months but stay with their mothers for about one year.

6. Moose are a relatively peaceful animal, but can be aggressive and dangerous when threatened. They are also a threat to motorists, as their height and size make them especially dangerous during moose-vehicle collisions. They are hard to see at night due to their color, making them susceptible to these accidents.

Reindeer facts

Reindeers in Norway.
Reindeers in Norway. Photo © Dmitry Chulov

1. Reindeer are best known as Santa’s mascots, but they are real animals! In North America, they are known as Caribou.

2. They live in northern Tundra areas of the world, including the Arctic and Greenland.

3. They are the only deer species in which both males and females have antlers.

4. Reindeer are great swimmers. They have hollow hairs that help insulate them against cold weather.

5. Reindeer milk is richer than that of any other ungulate.

Water deer facts

Water deer
Water deer. Photo © Likeeper

1. Water deer are also known as Chinese Water Deer and are native to Korea and China. They prefer to live near fertile river bottoms.

2. They are quite unique in that they have fangs that stick out of the sides of their mouth. These are not fangs for eating meat or sucking blood, but rather tusks for defense, as these deer lack antlers.

3. They are the only deer with inguinal glands. They rely on hiding to evade predators, if they need to run they use very quick, rabbit like sprints.

4. Baby water deer, known as fawns, weigh less than two pounds at birth.

Tufted deer facts

Tufted Deer
Tufted Deer. Photo © Colette6

1. Like the Chinese Water Deer, the Tufted Deer, or Western Tufted Deer, also has protruding tusks for defense. They also have a unique tuft of fur on top of their head, giving them their name.

2. Native to Asia, this species is found in forests and mountain jungles. They are herbivores like other deer species.

3. These deer are nocturnal, meaning they are more active at night. They are about one and a half to 2.3 feet tall at the shoulder.

Roe deer facts

Running roe deer in forest
Running roe deer in forest. Photo © Volodymyr Byrdyak

1. Roe Deer are widespread throughout Europe with about 15 million currently numbering the area.

2. Males have thicker skin on their head, neck, and shoulders for protection. Their color ranges from reddish to gray.

3. Males have three tined antlers that are shed each fall, then immediately grow back.

4. These deer are either solitary or live in small family groups. They have white rump patches, females heart shaped, and males kidney shaped, making them easy to tell apart with or without antlers.

5. Males bark or make a grunting noise, while females peep during mating season.

Barasingha facts

Branderi Barasingha, found only in Kanha Tiger Reserve, India.
Branderi Barasingha, found only in Kanha Tiger Reserve, India. Photo © Sudhirktr

1. The Barasingha is also known as the Swamp Deer. It lives throughout the Indian subcontinent.

2. It has as many as twelve tines on its antlers, which is the inspiration behind its Hindi name, which translates to “twelve antlered deer”.

3. This species has a small population size in the few thousands and is considered one of the most threatened in the world. Most of the areas where they currently live are protected sanctuaries.

4. They are one of the more long-lived species, living 20-23 years in the wild.

Sika deer facts

Sika Deer resting
Sika Deer resting. Photo © Smellme

1. Sika Deer, not to be confused with a different type, Sitka Deer, originated in East Asia, but were also introduced to the Eastern United States and currently live in the Maryland area and also in Texas.

2. They are spotted as fawns but keep their spots when they are older, too. This is quite different from another deer seen alongside them in the United States, the Whitetail, that loses their spots after it matures. The spots become more prominent during the summer.

3. Males are called stags. They weigh around 90 pounds. Females are called hinds and weigh around 70 pounds.

4. Females almost always have single babies, known as calves. These babies are usually born in May.

5. Males have a dark, shaggy mane. Their antlers can reach about 19 inches in length.

6. They can eat poison ivy and it is even considered one of their favorite foods. They prefer to feed throughout the night, starting at dusk and rest and hide out during the day.

Chital facts

Chital Buck with velvet antlers
Chital Buck with velvet antlers. Photo © William Wise

1. The Chital Deer is also known as the Spotted Deer.

2. They are the most common deer on the Indian subcontinent and prefer to live in forests.

3. Unlike many deer species around the world, they do not have a defined mating season. Instead, they can breed and give birth all year round.

4. These deer usually live in herds that range in size from about ten to up to fifty animals.

5. Chital are herbivores but have been known to eat their shed antlers when they are in need of extra nutrients. These deer have spotted coats to help them blend in in the forests. They are popular sites on Indian tourist safaris.