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Bucks are usually solitary but sometimes they may travel in a small group. Deer usually herd together during winter months to conserve energy. Their territory is usually small depending on the food supply. If there is a good food source in a certain area, the deer will have a smaller home range. More traveling is needed if the food source is less abundant. In eastern forests, buds and twigs of maple, sassafras, poplar, aspen, and birch are consumed, as well as many shrubs. In the desert areas, plants such as huajillo brush, yucca, prickly pear cactus, comal, ratama, and various tough shrubs may be the deer’s main diet components. Conifers are often utilized in winter when other foods are scarce. They are crepuscular animals, feeding mainly from before dawn until several hours after, and again from late afternoon until dusk.
Most white-tailed deer mate after their second year, especially males. Females have been found to mate as early as seven months. Bucks are polygamous although they may form an attachment and stay with a single doe for several days or even weeks until she reaches oestrus. Mating occurs from October to December and gestation is approximately 6 and a half months. In her first breeding, a female generally has one fawn, but 2 per litter are born in subse2quent years. Fawns are able to walk at birth and nibble on vegetation only a few days later. They are weaned at approximately six weeks. Life span in the wild is about 10 years, but whitetail deer have lived up to 20 years in captivity.
They are able to live in a variety of terrestrial habitats, from the big woods of northern Maine to the deep saw grass and hammock swamps of Florida. They also inhabit farmlands, brushy areas and such desolate areas of the west such as the cactus and thornbrush deserts of southern Texas and Mexico.
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