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BLACKTAIL DEER

August 29, 2021 2 min read

BLACKTAIL DEER

Blacktail deer are a subspecies of mule deer; some treat them as species, but many studies prove they are subspecies. In addition, Blacktail deer are game animals.

Range:

Blacktail deer is commonly present in 

  • California

  • British Columbia

  • Western Oregon

  • Alaska

  • Washington

Species:

Blacktail deer has two subspecies,

  • Columbian Blacktail deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus)

  • Sitka Blacktail deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis)

Columbian Blacktail Deer:

It is common along British Columbia's coastline and presents along with the United States' coastal areas. 

Sitka Blacktail Deer:

It is common throughout the southeast region of Alaska and Canada’s British Columbia.

Habitat:

The blacktail deer prefer to live at the edge of the forest, as it provides them cover from predators and harsh weather and grasslands that they like for their food. As a result, they are more active at dawn and dusk.

Diet:

Blacktail deer are browsers; blacktail deer mostly eat western poison oak. They also feed on

  • Lichens

  • Blackberries

  • Grasses

  • Apples

  • Red huckleberries

  • Douglas fir

  • Salal

  • Deer fern

  • Fireweed

  • Forbes

  • Maple

  • Salmonberry

Reproduction and Life Cycle:

November and early December is the rutting season. The gestation period is 6–7 months. Fawns are born in May and June. Fawns weigh 2.7 to 4 kg and are protected and nourished by their mother. 

The average lifespan of Black-tailed deer is at least 10 years. However, the fawns mortality rate is 45 to 70%.

Communication:

  • Deer communicate by producing certain kinds of sounds such as grunting, stomping down on the ground, whining. The sounds indicate that they may be in danger, pain, or to communicate about their location.
  • Blacktail deer also communicate by producing a scent called musk. Metatarsal glands outside the legs produce an alarm scent. Interdigital glands between toes produce the scent to indicate that the deer may pass from a specific area. Tarsal glands inside of the hock produce the scent for mutual recognition.

Predators of Blacktail Deer:

Some predators of Black-tailed deer are

  • Black bears

  • Wolves

  • Cougars 

  • Brown bears

  • Humans


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