Types of Deer – Locations, Descriptions and Trophies

Anthony Cote
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Whitetail Deer

The most plentiful and popular species of Deer is the white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus. The white-tailed deer is the most widely distributed deer on earth. It can be found in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Europe, Asia and northern Africa. It is estimated that there are over 30 million white-tailed deer in North America alone.

Found in most habitats, varying from woodlands, to prairies, to swamps, to desert, the white-tailed deer is equally at home in the city as it is in the country. Living in close proximity to humans is becoming more and more common.

Growing from a tiny fawn to an adult buck in slightly less than one year, the white-tailed deer can also grow to be much larger than other deer species. Horn length varies greatly with many bucks growing impressive six to seven inch, tined antlers. The record book book Boone and Crockett High Score is almost nine inches wide.

Where to find them

Deer are found throughout the world except in Australias, Islas Galápagos, New Zealand and Antarctica. Throughout Asia, the Americas, Russia, and Europe, there are so many different types of deer and they are divided into different species.

India has six different deer species which are found in different parts of the country. The Indian Muntjac or barking deer is found in the city of Mumbai, the South Indian Spotted deer is found in South India in the places like Kerala and Tamilnadu, the Malabar Spotted deer in the Western Ghats and the Kashmirian stag is found in the Himalayas. The Indian sambar deer, the Central Indian Spotted deer and the Indian Hog deer are found in the North-Eastern and Western parts of India.

Tropical Rain Forests The tropical rain forests of the world house numerous number of deer species. The Philippines, which is located in Asia houses five different species like the Philippine Spotted deer or the tay deer, the Philippine Warty pig, the Luzon Feral water buffalo and the Taong sibuyas or the Malayan muntjac or the Horned deer. These deer may be small but they are very vibrant and colorful which makes them beautiful. The Deer of the Tropical rain forest have a glossy golden coat with spots, and long twisted horns which are mostly black in color.

How to spot them

With more than 50 species and more than 35 sub-species of White-tailed deer worldwide, identifying the type of deer, and even it’s sex, can be a difficult task. That is why it’s important to study the deer before you even begin to try and approach it.

A lot of people make the mistake of trying to approach a deer by walking towards it slowly. Deer’s natural instinct is to run away from a threat, so the fastest way to scare it away is to move towards it without making it think that it is in any danger.

Deer usually live in small family groups, usually consisting of a female, up to two males, and the kids. They are not aggressive, and will not risk fighting for their territory. They will, however, defend their youngsters with all they have.

The male’s antlers will grow from a soft tip, usually covered in a velvety skin, until it has reached its full size. At this point, the skin will start to dry out, lifting it up, and will start to shed. This process is why the antlers look yellowish-brown. It is simply the dried and dead skin.

The trophy

Is the king of the forest! Big deer. You love it when they pop up. When it’s a very big buck. But unfortunately, the chances of seeing them are getting slimmer and slimmer. A small percentage of hunters are fortunate enough to harvest a big buck each season and we are always sure to take it because it’s a once in a lifetime experience.

Deer hunters with trophy bucks often share the stories of their breathtaking deer safaris and the incredible shots they had to take. Which they consider a story of success.

Their unique personality

The deer’s typical movements are very slow. They feed on plants and berries and travel to survive for food. These include and are not limited to various edible tasty leaves, vegetables, grass, vegetables and fruit depending on the type of deer.

The antlers for males are used as a tool for self-defense. In fact, males continuously grow antlers and shed them during the winter. These antlers are often shed each year as it is needed.

They can stand very still which often causes them to become difficult to see. The coat of this deer is usually brown, gray, and black. The males have two types of antlers. There are tines and palmated. The palmated type antler able to protect them for long so when compared to the other types, it is best to know that.

Deer are mammals and have a very interesting story that is associated with the characteristics of the species. They have a set of long ears and a tail. The antlers for males are used as a tool for self-defense.

The antlers for males are used as a tool for self-defense. In fact, males continuously grow antlers and shed them during the winter. These antlers are often shed each year as it is needed.

Where, when and how to hunt

Each type of deer:

Deer Types – Mule Deer

Mule deer are typically the largest deer species you will come across. The mule deer is also one of the most wide spread in North America and can be found in western Canada, Mexico, the United States, and even parts of South America.

Male mule deer have antlers that grow upwards from their heads. Their antlers are usually lighter in color than the rest of their body and shed their antlers completely every winter. Female mule deer do not grow antlers, they generally have ringed tails and brownish bodies.

Deer Types – Blacktail Deer

Blacktail deer are another type of deer that can be found in the western United States and Canada. The blacktail deer is a common game animal and can be found in many hunting games.

Blacktail deer antlers on males can be easily distinguished because of their unique black color. The blacktail deer is also one of the smallest of deer species. The Blacktail deer is sometimes referred to as the Amethyst Deer because of the distinctive color of their antlers.

Deer Types – White-Tailed Deer

White-tailed deer are the most familiar of all deer because of their appearance both in the wild and in captivity. White-tailed deer that are raised in captivity can grow to become very friendly and allows humans to feed and pet them.

Mule Deer

— Description:

Mule deer get their name from their size. They are much larger than their white-tailed brothers in the deer family. Mule deer have large rounded ears; a black tail with a white underside; light brown bodies; and large feet (much larger than white-tail deer feet). Bucks (male deer) of this species grow antlers, which are shed in the winter. Mule deer, on average, have the thickest antlers of any North American deer. You can tell a great deal about the quality of the antlers of a mule deer buck by the shape of the antlers forehead. Antlers that are thick and wide are considered a sign of a healthy buck and is a great indicator for trophy quality mule deer.

— Location:

Mule deer prefer the mountains over the flatlands. They love elevations of 6000 feet and higher. They can live in grassy areas or desert regions. They are the only deer species to live above the Arctic Circle. Mule deer can be found in most western U.S. states and Canada, ranging from Alberta to Texas.

— Trophy Qualities:

Their special look

Deer are one of those animals that are not very friendly and they will most likely run away if you go near them. They are the most common type of animal that wanders most of us on our living space. They are the most beautiful creatures that you will see when you are outside. They are mostly found in urban areas and eat everywhere they go. They are an important part of our planet as they help by keeping the soil healthy and they are also a great food source for us.

Deer can be found in almost every region. They are the main sources of food in the forests and they also help in the regulation of trees and the spreading of herbs. If you are an animal lover and the way they look, you are able to see them in the streets and parks. It is estimated that about 20 million deer are in the US and they are often seen in the parks and the forests and the other areas of the country. There are numerous species of deer that roam the mountain areas.

In the United States, there are two main deer species that are commonly found. These are the mule deer and the white-tailed deer. Inside the mule deer species, there is a subspecies that is called the black-tailed deer.

A braver personality

The Mule deer is said to be tougher and less skittish than other deer species. They do not seem easily spooked by a loud noise or something out of the ordinary. Unlike their cousin the White-Tailed deer, the Mule deer is more likely to stand and fight to protect their territory rather than run away.

They are slightly smaller than the White-Tailed, but have thicker legs, greater body size, thicker necks and heads, and larger ears.

White-Tailed deer are generally browner with white underbellies, the tail is white, and the antlers are palmated. The Mule deer can be brown, gray, black, or even almost yellowish in color and their tails are blackish or reddish, and have tined antlers that are thick at the base and escalate to slender points.

The ears of the Mule deer are much larger than the White-Tailed deer. The Mule deer is born with a reddish coat and turns to a dun (creamy brown) color as they grow older. The young Mule deer fawns are smaller than the adults, with spotted fawns being more common than the all brown fawns. Large males Mule deer can reach a height of 84cm when standing fully on their back legs.

Game for the backwoodsman

One of the best reasons to hunt is the thrill of the stalk, the unpredictability of it all, and the ultimate satisfaction when you make a clean shot. You could try your hand at waterfowling, but without a boat and a blind, you're not going to be much of a duck or goose hunter. Coon hunting takes place after dark, and requires a dog to tree the raccoon. The good news about coon hunting is that it isn't very technically demanding. Squirrels can mess up the backyard, but you can enjoy hours of expertly skilled squirrel hunting without ever killing one.

Axis Deer

Axis deer, also known as Chital, inhabit the scrublands and dense forests of India, extending from the foothills of the Himalayas to the eastern coastline and islands.

Like many domesticated animals, it developed a taste for crops and was thereby quick to become a pest among farmers. Restrictions were imposed, and farming meant that it became necessary for the Axis deer to move from place to place in search of food. This also made it susceptible to hunting, which is the origin of its nickname, the Chital.

It is a relatively small deer with a rust-colored coat. Its small and narrow antlers are sawn near the base and are capped with short tines.

The Chital is a very alert deer possessing good hearing and a well developed sense of smell. In India, it's a protected species, and hunting is not allowed. However, it is not uncommon in many places.

A mature Axis deer can stand nearly 2 meters high at the shoulder, making it a major food source for tigers and other predators.

Exotic ancestry

The fallow deer, which currently has a protected status in many European countries, is considered to have been first introduced into Great Britain some 2,000 years ago as a game animal. It is thought that they were released by the Romans, for hunting purposes, around the time of Claudius. In more recent times, these deer were thought to have been introduced again by the Normans. These introductions, and presumably, the re-introduction of deer into areas they had previously inhabited, were not for the purpose of growing the species naturally, and instead were for hunting purposes. From the time of its introduction until the early 19th century, considerable numbers of fallow deer were reared in parks and parks to provide a supply of fallow deer for the hunt.

Today, fallow deer hunting is popular, because the fallow deer is a beautiful species. In addition to their beauty, this species of deer is unique because it does not have a prominent white patch on its rump, something that it shares with the sika and hog deer.

Strange habits

When you are going hunting deer or just want to see them, you must take into account their strange habits.

When they are walking around, the deer have in mind a specific direction in which they move. They do not meander because they follow marks or traces they have left on the ground, which then guide them in the right direction.

However, this habit has its purpose but, in your case, can be exploited. The deer, when they see clearly, distinguish the traces they have left on the ground and are guided by those, so that only you must clean those areas from tracks, if you are hunting in an open field. In this case it is easy for the deer to get confused because of the lack of reference (you removed track of the animal). By steps is the best, in addition to moving in the same direction in which the deer goes, after a few steps divert in one more direction, then another and so on, and you will walk behind the animal very quietly, without worrying about being seen by a deer.

The fact of not seeing the path in front of them helps to hide from the animal the fact that someone approaches, since in most cases it turns around because of this. So you can see that, by removing the traces left on the ground, the deer will show even more oblivious of your approach.

Always in the rut

Mature bucks are always in the rut during the early part of any given season, and this ensures that those who keep a buck pole will have something on it for a good part of the year. However, a buck pole won’t necessarily tell you which deer are the biggest in the area. It may, however, give you a very clear picture of how the population is doing.

Exotic game

Some people like to shoot game that isn’t indigenous to their region or continent.

Examples include wild boar in Europe, Tahr in the United Kingdom or Moose in the United States.

In North America, Moose, Caribou, Rocky Mountain Elk, Mule deer and White-tailed deer are the most popular exotics.

Sika Deer

The first deer that you will encounter are Sika deer, which in Asia are more prevalent and are hunted to develop the best Sika deer in the world. In fact, the Sika deer are the most preferred deer for Japanese dishes. The Japanese are known for their unique cooking with many of their recipes using a combination of seafood, pork, and deer meat. The Sika deer have a reddish brown color with a stocky body and they may be in either a small herd of 8-10 deer or they are also solitary. They have black-tipped tails which are approximately 18 inches long. The Sika deer have a long horn span, which has a span of 5-12 inches.

Worldwide presence

Deer are the most easily identifiable and widely distributed of all wild mammals. With some 60,000 different species of deer worldwide, they are a familiar symbol in the human experience. Despite deer being one of the largest mammals in North America, their populations have dwindled over the ages due to a wide range of factors, but today efforts are being made to keep them thriving. Keep reading to learn of the many different species of deer, their locations, descriptions, and trophies.

The trophy

Is the king of the forest! Big deer. You love it when they pop up. When it’s a very big buck. But unfortunately, the chances of seeing them are getting slimmer and slimmer. A small percentage of hunters are fortunate enough to harvest a big buck each season and we are always sure to take it because it’s a once in a lifetime experience.

Deer hunters with trophy bucks often share the stories of their breathtaking deer safaris and the incredible shots they had to take. Which they consider a story of success.

They’re a challenge

To hunt, are they not?

Deer are mammals in the genus Cervus are ruminant animals belonging to the family Cervidae.

Depending on the species, the male deer are also referred to as a stag, buck or bull, while the female deer are referred to as a doe, hind, or cow.

The male deer has a pair of antlers which are made of bone that grows annually. These antlers on the male deer are grown in the summer months, and are usually shed every winter.

Red Deer

Overview: Red deer are a subspecies of deer that have adapted to a variety of geographical and climate conditions. From tall forests to open plains the red deer is able to fit most of the environment it finds itself in. It is also fashionable as males are commonly seen with red coats during the fall and winter months. Red deer are most commonly found in Europe and are also found throughout Scotland, Wales, England, Ireland, and parts of Asia.

Appearance: The red deer is one of the largest deer species. They can weigh up to 1,200 lbs which is 220 pounds more than the average sized mule deer. Their fur is a mixture of brown and white in color which helps them blend in with the brown and white grass.

The Old World option

There are only two species in this group: the Fallow and the Sika.

Fallow – the most common deer in Europe, Great Britain, and Russia but as of yet there are no domesticated herds. Fallow deer do well in confined breeding operations, but it is quite difficult to domesticate them. In the last few decades, there has been an effort to domesticate Fallow deer due to the demand for the venison and the size of the antlers. The deer must be castrated in order to be tamed, and even with this effort, there is still some difficulty.

Fallow – The male weighs from 250 to 400 pounds and stands 25 to 50 inches at the shoulder. Males shed their horns in December and grow new spikes in the spring. They shed the antlers in the early winter. Fallow deer are paler in color than their cousins and have smaller ears and tails. The long tail is lighter on top with a darker stripe down the rump and a black tip. The female Fallow weighs from 150 to 250 pounds, is 23 to 45 inches tall at the shoulder, and it has smaller antlers and shed fat faster than the male due to the heat she has to expend. Fallow deer can be found in France, England, Russia, Spain, Italy, Romania, Greece, and Denmark.

Plan an adventure

There are plenty of deer around the globe. Some are difficult to find, while others are not too hard to track, and a few can only be found in special areas. To find the kind of deer that you want, it is good to have a list of locations that you have not hunted in. An outdoor adventure might be just what you need to get off the daily grind and have some fun killing things with your buddies.

Caribou (Reindeer)

Caribou, which you may also hear called Reindeer, is a big-game species that occurs in northern Canada, Alaska, plus parts of the northern U.S., such as the Rocky Mountains, and the Northeast.

Caribou are found more in the western regions of Canada and Alaska than they are in the eastern. Caribou are the largest species of deer in the United States.

Everyone seems to have their own idea as to how many sub-species there are of Caribou. It is not that there is that much confusion. Caribou can vary greatly from one group to the next.

The skin or hair color may vary from gray to brown or a mix of the two and they may also be either grayish or brownish in the head and have black or brown noses.

The antlers may also be quite different. As well as color there may be differences in the size, shape, or number of tines. The small differences in these areas lead biologists to define Caribou sub-species.

There are two popular or common sub-species found in the United States, and that is the Barren Ground Caribou and Porcupine Caribou.

Legendary deer

These are the deer that have a body mass of over 400 kg (880 lb) and usually have thick necks, long legs with distinct white spots, and two solid white antlers without palmation. The heads of these deer can be enormous, usually 50 to 60 cm (20 to 24 in) and have a massive muscular body with enormous shoulder humps. The coloring of these deer is very dark, often black or very dark brown, with a lighter patch on the rump. The sinew that runs along the back is thick, and "black stripe" that runs down the back and along the tail can sometimes be observed. These deer are generally solitary animals and dangerous because of their enormous size.

The European moose is found in the forests at the eastern tip of North America. Black in color, it has long thin legs, a narrow body, and curved pointed antlers. In body size, it reaches more than 3 m (10 ft) at the shoulder and weighs around 700 to 1000 kg (1500 to 2200 lb). A full-grown bull with large antlers may stand 50 to 66 cm (20 to 26 in) high at the shoulder. The tail is long and up to 15 cm (6 in) wide. The ears are short and rounded in comparison to its close relative, the North American moose.

A different kind of female

There are several types of deer including the white-tail deer, the moose, and the reindeer, which is commonly known as the caribou. The key difference between all these animals is that they are all different types of hoofed mammals with antlers for males only. The reindeer is the only deer that has antlers during the winter season and sheds them right before mating season. The other deer have antlers that remain on the males year-round. Males use the antlers to fight each other for territory and mates. The number and location of deer antlers on a male can also be used as a means for determining the trophy score of a male. There are other distinguishing features to each type of deer as well.

White-tail Deer – The white-tails are the most widespread deer in the United States and Canada. The adult deer is brown with white tail spots, and they are smaller than other deer. Male deer have antlers that are worn annually from almost year-round wear. The antlers are wide and rounded with a flat back, which is how the deer can easily go through the forested area. When hunting for deer, the white-tail has to be hunted carefully because of their keen sense. When a human walks nearby, the deer gets spooked and runs away.

Adapted for the arctic

You can often see caribou outside of Alaska. The subspecies of caribou that lives in Alaska is actually known as the Alaskan Caribou Species. But all other caribou live in the Arctic region.

These subspecies of caribou are adapted to live in the Arctic conditions. The hooves and legs of the caribou are covered with hair. This fur keeps the caribou from wearing down its hooves when walking on the snow.

Each year the caribou gets a thicker growth of fur in the summer. This fur helps the caribou to survive in the harsh arctic environment.

How to hunt the legend

Hitting the whitetail trophy is every deer hunter’s dream, and every time the fall rolls around, hundreds of hunters in North America risk spending countless hours scouting and a lot of time and energy to fill their tags. Whitetails are known to be cunning, elusive, and agile. Deer hunting might be considered a sport, but deer hunting is also about, precision, strategy, patience, and a whole lot of luck.

The whitetail deer, also known as “Odocoileus virginianus” can be found in every U.S. state, excluding Alaska and Hawaii. They can also be found throughout Canada, Mexico, Europe, South and Central America, and China. Whitetailed deer are found in swamps, marshes, near rivers and lakes.

The types of deer are referred to as bucks, does, calves, fawns, and young.

Buck: Male Deer. Bucks can weigh up to 400 pounds, whereas does can weigh up to 200 pounds. The head of a buck has four or more tines on its antlers. The rack of a buck is referred to as its antlers, and a high-quality rack from a mature buck usually has four tines on one side, and five tines on the other, but it is not uncommon for the antlers to have more than four tines.

Elk

  • Male Asiatic elk are the “Great rut” of the elk world, as they are the most likely of all the male deer species to clash violently over females during mating season.
  • Adult males weigh between 300-600 lbs. and stand at about six feet tall. Mature males have a noticeable bulge in their neck, caused by the large set of antlers they grow each year, which are between six and eight feet in length.
  • The antlers are covered in a fur-like velvet every year in May, which is shed about two months later. The young Asiatic Elk shed the velvet earlier than their American counterparts.
  • Although their antlers aren’t as large as the Uruguayan or Merussian populations, male Asiatic Elk are the most popular for hunters.
  • Male elk are most active during the early morning and evening.
  • They tend to be found within heavily forested areas.
  • Spotting an Elk is a lot easier that spotting deer, due to their large size.
  • Bull elk can be found in herds of 5-15.
  • When you spot an elk mother-to-be, she will return to the herd. The male elk will stay behind.

Their beauty

Makes the world a more beautiful place.

Deer hunting has evolved over the years, along with the deer themselves. Once upon a time deer hunting was less regulated and far more dangerous. Today, deer hunting remains a popular sport for casual and competitive hunters, alike.

During deer hunting, participants search for and sight deer in their natural habitats. Hunters then align their weapon sights on their intended target and shoot. Different weapons that are used for deer hunting include high-powered scoped rifles, bows, and even crossbows.

The act of deer hunting can be traced back thousands of years ago, when natives of Northern Asia first began to use deer for food and clothing. Later, early man used deer for religious purposes and as a source for food.

The main function for deer hunting was altered over the years, as hunting for sport and for food was given equal importance.

Prized game

For their antler size, strength, symmetry, and bone structure, deer are the only ungulate species that can be hunted and killed for sport in most regions. There are over 60 species worldwide and their size can range from as small as the diminutive chital to the huge moose.

Moose

Moose can grow to be extremely large, weighing in over 1000 pounds. They are also grazing herbivores that can reach heights over seven feet tall.

Bucks and Does can be hunted in all areas of the US, with Alaska being the only exception.

The proper season for Moose is October 1st through the end of January. The hunting of the moose is done by the state in which the moose resides.

Moose live in the northern regions of Canada, Alaska, and in between the southeastern states of Maine and Georgia as well.

The biggest thing to remember about the moose, (size wise), is that they are the largest member of the Deer family.

Record holders

The American elk (wapiti) is the largest species in the deer family and is the official state game animal of Wyoming. A mature bull (male) elk, or rack, can weigh as much as 1100 pounds, stand 6 feet tall at the shoulders and sport antlers that span 8 feet tip to tip. Overall, the elk has a brown coat with a whitish underside and dark legs. Its face and rump also have distinctive white areas.

The most famous elk hunting takes place in Colorado. There is a big trophy culture in the area, especially for bulls with wide spread antlers. Elk hunting in Colorado used to be limited to six points on one side, but now it has changed to the more modern Boone and Crockett scoring system that takes into account the animal's overall main frame. Colorado consistently tops the list for the number of record book entries each year in Texas. In Colorado, a lot of land is available to outfitters. Down in Texas where there is little public land, this changes the type of outfitter from one that concentrates on six-points to one that concentrates on more mature bulls.

One of a kind

Several of the Western Hemisphere’s largest wild deer are found in Texas.

The non-native axis deer stags in the Hill Country may be nearly as large as an American elk, and sightings of 300- to 500-pound javelinas commonly occur. The European Red deer stag is found in densities of one per 40 acres in many South Texas ranchlands, where they average 300 pounds and seem more content to mingle throughout the year. The scimitar-horned oryx are one of the few antelope species to remain in the world, and they are quite common in the southwest Texas ranches that they share with the massive African eland.

The San Benito and Perote deer are some of the most unique of North America’s wild deer. These deer were raised for meat in Mexico, but then the ranches folded and the world’s only deer herd that has never been bothered by poachers is thriving in the Big Bend area of Texas. They are close enough to the spawn site that they will often change color in fall to match the desert grasses, and their antlers are positioned so close to their heads they walk with a strange gait.

There are also quite a few excellent white-tail deer in Texas, especially in the southern coastal region.

Where, when and how to hunt

Each type of deer:

Deer Types – Mule Deer

Mule deer are typically the largest deer species you will come across. The mule deer is also one of the most wide spread in North America and can be found in western Canada, Mexico, the United States, and even parts of South America.

Male mule deer have antlers that grow upwards from their heads. Their antlers are usually lighter in color than the rest of their body and shed their antlers completely every winter. Female mule deer do not grow antlers, they generally have ringed tails and brownish bodies.

Deer Types – Blacktail Deer

Blacktail deer are another type of deer that can be found in the western United States and Canada. The blacktail deer is a common game animal and can be found in many hunting games.

Blacktail deer antlers on males can be easily distinguished because of their unique black color. The blacktail deer is also one of the smallest of deer species. The Blacktail deer is sometimes referred to as the Amethyst Deer because of the distinctive color of their antlers.

Deer Types – White-Tailed Deer

White-tailed deer are the most familiar of all deer because of their appearance both in the wild and in captivity. White-tailed deer that are raised in captivity can grow to become very friendly and allows humans to feed and pet them.