Types Of Deer – Species Facts and Information

Written By John VanDerLaan 

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There’s more to deer than just antlers, there are a number of different types of deer all around the world. Deer species can be divided into several classifications and divisions. Ranging from the Whitetail Deer who are among the most popular big game animals in North America to Mule Deer, Coues Deer, Elk, Moose and many more.

In this article you will learn all about each type of deer, including facts and information such as current distribution, physical characteristics, preferred habitat and mating habits of the various species of deer.

Deer belong to a class of herbivores called ruminants, which means that they have a four chambered stomach and must chew cud in order to digest their food.

Herbivores are animals that eat plants, but there are documented cases of deer eating meat.

Deer are considered crepuscular, although they may become nocturnal if forced to do so by environmental pressures.

Crepuscular means that they are most active at dawn and dusk. The key term here is most active. They can be active any time of the day including middle of the day and at night.

For more information on this subject visit Are Deer Nocturnal.

Let's take an in depth look at the different types of deer.

11 Types Of Deer From Around The World

Below you will find deer facts and information from 11 different deer species found all over the world.

1. Whitetail Deer

Whitetail Deer

The Whitetail deer, also referred to as the White-tailed Deer is one of the many species of deer found in North, Central, and South America. They are found in most U.S. states with exceptions to Alaska, Hawaii, and some Southwestern states.

Whitetail Deer can be seen as far north as Canada and as far south as Mexico, also ranging through most areas of Central America and northern parts of South America.

According to taxonomists, the White-tailed deer extends to approximately 40 different subspecies. Human activities have allowed the expansion of whitetails northward and westward. 

Their vast range is the reason that there is a plethora of subspecies for this type of deer.

Following Allen’s Rule and Bergmann’s Rule is common when classifying the Whitetail Deer subspecies.

Allen’s Rule states that in the Northern climates of the Whitetail’s region is likely to be more cool and the outer characteristics of this type of deer, including the ears, legs, and tail tend to be shorter than in the Southern regions where the climate is warm and have enlarged ears, legs, and tail. 

Bergmann’s Rule refers to the importance of identifying subspecies of deer by their geographical area. Bergmann states that as animals travel further from the equator the larger they become, resulting in less loss of body heat. (1) 

Preferred Habitat

Whitetails are extremely adaptable and flourish in numerous different habitats, including, grasslands, pastures, wooded areas, meadows, badlands and even range to wetlands.

Their versatility makes them extremely common which allows them to adapt to a plethora of surroundings, even heavily populated areas.

This is why it is believed that there may be 30 to 40 subspecies of White-tailed deer,  including the Florida Key Deer which are considered endangered and are protected under the endangered species act

Physical Characteristics

The Whitetail is described as having a reddish brown coat during the summer months and developing a grayish-brown color in the winter.

The name stems from the dominant white color found on their underside tail, which is raised when they are alarmed in order to alert other whitetails nearby of the danger.

In the photo below, you can see the tail up, or flag as it is sometimes called. This is just one of the many forms of communication utilized by whitetails. They also have a complex communication system of deer sounds that allow the deer to communicate danger to each other as well as social sounds.

White-tailed deer With Tail Up

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Whitetail male’s have antlers and weigh anywhere from 150 to 300 pounds, while females are antlerless and typically weigh between 90 and 200 pounds. (2) Standing as tall as 3.9 feet with running speeds of up to 30 mph, Whitetails are among the quickest of deer.

Whitetail bucks grow a new set of antlers every year. When the antlers begin to grow, they are soft, fuzzy and have blood circulating through them. This is called in velvet.

As the year progresses and we move towards the mating season, the buck's testosterone levels begin to rise and the antlers begin to harden.

During this time the bucks will shed their velvet by rubbing it off on saplings. The bucks are then ready to begin sparring with other bucks in preparation for mating. 

Once the mating season has ended and the buck's testosterone levels decrease, they will shed their antlers and their bodies will begin the process of growing another set of antlers for the coming year.

Mating habits

The mating season for deer is called the rut.

During this time the Whitetail Bucks will begin to establish dominance over other bucks and a social hierarchy will be formed.

The more dominant males will breed with more females during rutting season.

White Tailed Deer mating

At the beginning of mating season, the females release a secretion from the sweat glands in their legs forming an intra-species connection.  

In the Northern regions, females, or does, are in their reproductive season in the fall months of October and November, while in the Southern regions the mating season ranges from January to February.

The gestation period is approximately seven months (200 days). 

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Hunting Opportunities

Whitetail Deer are among the most popular big game animals in North America. Hunters enjoy a challenging game and Whitetail’s present a vigilant and demanding pursuit, including the male’s desirable broad antlers which hunter’s take as a token of their victory.

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Hunting opportunities are plentiful wherever Whitetails exist. Their extreme adaptability allows them to thrive almost anywhere and hunting is needed to control the population.

Whitetails are very active and will move in wind and rain, presenting hunters with opportunities in even the worst weather.

Bow Hunters enjoy the longest seasons and the firearms hunting season is relatively short in most areas.  You can use compound bow, recurve and longbows to hunt whitetails. In most states, crossbows are also allowed during bow hunting seasons which dramatically increases participation due to the short learning curve for crossbow shooting.

Also, bow hunting seasons in most states coincide with the whitetail rut, which is the most exciting time to hunt big whitetail bucks, when they can be called into range or even fooled with a deer decoy.

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In some parts of the United States, opening day of firearms season is like a holiday, with some schools closing and families gathering at deer camp for the annual tradition. 

The Whitetail is by far, the most hunted deer in the world.

Click here for deer hunting tips.

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2. Coues Deer 

Coues Deer

The Coues Deer, native to the Southern parts of Arizona and New Mexico is a subspecies of the White-tailed Deer. Although they range all throughout the state of Arizona, the highest densities are in the southern parts and stretching into New Mexico.     

Named for naturalist Elliott Coues, the former secretary and naturalist to the United States Geological and Geographical Survey. His last name is commonly mispronounced as “cooz”, but the correct pronunciation is “cowz”, also the correct pronunciation for this type of deer.  

They are also commonly referred to as Arizona Whitetail or “Fantail” because of their natural instinct to flare their large tails when alarmed. 

Preferred Habitat

The Coues Deer is common to desert dry environments and can withstand high temperatures without water primarily due to the vegetation they consume.  

Coues  Deer thrive in harsh terrain environments, including scrub oak, mountain mahogany, shrubs of warm dry areas, and thickets that stand between 6,000 and 8,000 feet above sea level.

While they inhabit extreme landscapes, they are more than often seeking pockets of shade or shaded vegetation areas when temperatures rise. 

Physical Characteristics

The Coues Deer is widely known for its’ ability to dissipate into their surroundings. The biggest difference in this type of deer is their small stature compared to the Whitetails.

Coues bucks stand at about 2.5 feet tall and weigh approximately 100 pounds, while does are a bit smaller and weigh up to 65 pounds.

They’re most notable for their large ears that assist dissolving heat during extremely hot summer months.

Coues Deer Big Ears

This type of deer consists of a more grey-like color hue which allows them to blend in with their habitat and evade predators.

The Coues fawns have white-spotted coats just like the Whitetail and they also have  white undersides similar to the Whitetail. 

Mating habits

Mating season for the Coues Deer typically begins in December extending sometimes to February in a few herds with them being born in late June.

The sparring matches between males during the rut are considered very mild and short-lived as compared to the whitetails  

Coues Bucks are careless during rutting season, as they spend more time active during the day trying to find a mate, leaving them vulnerable to hunters.   

Similarly to other Deer, the Coues gestation period is approximately 200 days. 

Hunting Opportunities

This type of deer is considered one of Arizona’s top game animals. Elusive and wary, the Coues Deer rarely allow hunters a shot opportunity. 

Bowhunting takes place in the months of August and September in both Arizona and New Mexico. Rifle season in Arizona typically runs throughout the month of January while only for a couple of weeks in parts of New Mexico.  

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Hunters have experienced success when sitting in tree stands and keeping an eye on water early.

Some hunters prefer spot-and-stalk, where they find the deer first using hunting binoculars and then plan a route to sneak within range. This is much more difficult than waiting in a tree stand.

3. Key Deer 

Key Deer

Key Deer, a subspecies of the White-tailed Deer is listed as endangered with fewer than 1,000 key deer still remaining. Their greatest threat is loss of habitat from development of coastal habitats, where they currently reside.

Key Deer are found on around  20 islands of the Florida Keys hence their name.

Big Pine Key is the dominant area for this type of deer and is one of the largest of the Key Islands.

The available fresh surface water on Big Pine Key is one of the reasons this island supports the majority population of the Key Deer. They routinely swim to many of the surrounding islands, but usually return to Big Pine Key for the fresh water.

Preferred Habitat

The Key Deer’s preferred habitat consists predominantly of pine rocklands due to the permanent freshwater surfaces that are available with this type of environment.

Key Deer are extremely adaptable and utilize all types of habitats within their range. Their diet is mostly made up of mangrove trees and thatch palm berries, although they will also eat people's plantings.

Key Deer have lost their fear of humans and some of them can even be hand fed. This has made them vulnerable to dog attacks and deer/vehicle collisions, which is the number one source of death for the key deer.

Do Not Feed Key Deer

Physical Characteristics

A defining feature of the Key Deer is their small size, commonly referred to as “toy deer”’ because they are the smallest subspecies of the White-tailed Deer.

The body of the Key Deer can be described as stockier than other subspecies of the White-tailed deer. Their legs appear to be shorter and comparatively wider.

Their coat ranges from a deep reddish to a salt-and-pepper gray tone with subtle black markings on the facial region.

The buck’s antlers are substantially smaller in size in comparison to the White-tailed Deer.

Only standing approximately 2 to 2.5 feet tall, adult males, bucks, can weigh between 55 and 75 pounds, while the adult females weigh significantly less.

Taxonomists consider the Key Deer population as the most genetically divergent population in the southern part of the United States. 

Mating habits

On average, Key Deer produces fewer fawns than other deer species. The breeding season of the Key Deer spikes in the month of September and declines toward the end of January.

Their gestation period can be as long as 200 days with the females beginning to give birth in the months of April and May.

Typically, the younger males do not succeed at breeding. Male Key Deer usually drop their antlers around February or March and immediately begin to grow new antlers which are fully grown by August. 

Hunting Opportunities

Key Deer can not be hunted. They are protected by the Endangered Species Act.

The National Key Deer Refuge was established in 1957 after their near extinction, in hopes to protect and manage the remaining Key Deer population. In 1967 the Key Deer was officially listed as an endangered species due to the overhunting and habitat loss in the early 1940’s. Illegal feeding and human interaction have made this subspecies of the White-tailed Deer vulnerable to unhealthy circumstances which still act as a threat. 

4. Mule Deer

Mule Deer

The Mule Deer is indigenous to the Western parts of America and received the name for their large, mule-like ears. 

The Mule Deer has seven subspecies that populate areas from California to Iowa and have even been introduced to Hawaii.

Their migration patterns follow seasonal changes, being at high elevations during summer months, such as mountains and low elevations, such as valleys and foothills during the winter.

It is also important to note that not all Mule Deer migrate, there is a low migration pattern of Mule Deer in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains but a high migration rate in the Green River Basin area of Wyoming.  

They are organized around groups consisting of related females and their offspring, but often missing adult bucks, as they prefer a more isolated roaming.

This type of deer is active during both day and night and most active during the early mornings and early evenings making them a great target for hunting.

Mule Deer are the most widely distributed and plentiful of all large mammal species in western North America. 

Preferred Habitat

The Mule deer’s preferred habitat is in areas throughout desert regions that include enough vegetation to eat and survive in. As mentioned, they move to higher elevations in the summer months and to lower elevations in the winter months but can also be found in mountain forests and wooded hills.

Mule Deer require access to water and forage year-round, forage includes grasses and shrubs so they are also found in forested areas, or dense grove habitats. 

Physical Characteristics

Mule Deer’s physical characteristics depend upon the region. The largest Mule Deer can be found in The Rocky Mountains while the smallest can be found along the Northern Pacific Coast.

Mule Deer bucks range from 3 - 3.5 feet tall and weigh approximately 130-280 pounds, while the females are described as smaller.

When looking for the Mule Deer, be sure to look for a brownish-gray color and a white patch. They are also known for their small white tail with a black tip.

You can also identify Mule Deer by their tell tale bounce when they run off. You can see it in the video below. 

Mating habits

The largest bucks with the largest antlers are dominant and breed most often. Rut season begins as early as the fall month of September and concludes as late as March, depending on the region.

The gestation period can range from six to seven months. In the Northern regions, birth occurs in the months of May to July, while in the Southern regions of the Mule Deer’s distribution birth occurs in July and August.

Most Mule Deer attain sexual maturity and can breed as yearlings but yearling males are often prevented from mating by older males.   

Hunting Opportunities

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Whether you’re looking for a solo hunt in dense forests or game worthy to pursue in open country, you will be able to find a hunting opportunity for Mule Deer.

Although they are widely distributed animals that exist from the Great Plains to the Western Coastal ranges, the Mule Deer can only be hunted in 15 states.

Colorado’s great Mule Deer habitat makes it a great spot to pursue this type of deer.

Archery season in this state is in the months of August and September when the deer are at their highest elevation, above the treeline.

Rifle season is October through November and the deer can be found widely distributed throughout the western United States and Canada.

Other popular states for hunting opportunities include Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska.

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5. Blacktail Deer

Black-tailed Deer

The Black-tailed Deer, a subspecies of The Mule Deer is primarily found in the states of California, western Oregon, Washington, and near the coasts of British Columbia and northwards of Alaska.

Also, commonly referred to as the Columbian Deer due to their tail pattern which differs from their larger subspecies -- the Mule Deer. A common argument is whether this type of deer should be considered as its own species or remain a subspecies of the Mule Deer.  This type of deer is found most active at dawn and dusk, and frequently involved in automobile collisions. 

The Blacktail Deer is capable of swimming several miles across their range. The extent of their range is from the banks of rivers to forests and southern woodlands. Also, commonly referred to as the Columbian Deer due to their tail pattern which differs from their larger subspecies -- the Mule Deer.

A common argument is whether this type of deer should be considered as its own species or remain a subspecies of the Mule Deer.  This type of deer is found most active at dawn and dusk, and frequently involved in automobile collisions. 

Preferred Habitat

Their preferred habitat consists of forested edges with shelter and ample grasslands. Their dense forests provide a plethora of advantages such as cover and allows for escape from predators.

Black-tailed Deer are also known to make thorough use of lands of reformed trees and shrubs following logging in both native ranges and human-introduced ranges. 

The Black-tailed Deer typically do not migrate, spending their entire lives within their small range. The coastal areas of Northern British Columbia and Alaska are made up of rugged mountains and shoreline and often seek lower elevations during winter for survival.  

Physical Characteristics

The Black-tailed Deer have a black tail and dark forehead. This deer tends to be smaller in size, than other species.

Their coats are typically a reddish-brown in the summer and a gray tone in the winter. Both males and females display a white patch on the body and underneath the tail with remaining features consisting of black areas.

Black tailed deer

Adult males typically weigh around 200 pounds, standing approximately 3 feet tall, while the females weigh 130 pounds. 

Mating habits

Their mating season takes place in the months of November and December, where Bucks chase after Does.

Females typically do not breed until their second year and produce one to two fawns per cycle with the fawns being born in early June. T

he gestation period lasts between six to seven months and upon birth the mother leaves the fawns by themselves to forage. 

Hunting Opportunities

Hunting the Blacktail Deer can be very challenging and hunter success rates are very low.

They live in a very inhospitable, wet and thick terrain that makes it difficult to gain access to the deer. 

This leads to a lack of interest among hunters. As a result, there are plenty of hunting opportunities where Blacktail Deer exist.

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6. Elk

Bull Elk

The Elk, also known as the Wapiti, a Native American word that means “light colored deer”, is one of the largest deer in the United States.  The most dominant feature of a male Elk is their antlers, sitting 4 feet or more above their head. 

Today, Elk primarily live in western North America. Especially in mountainous areas, such as Wyoming’s National Elk Refuge and Yellowstone National Park.

Although they are mostly found in the western parts of North America, they are also being reintroduced in some eastern U.S. states in small elk herds.

There are four subspecies living in North America today, the Tule Elk, Manitoba Elk, Roosevelt Elk, and Rocky Mountain Elk that range from the coastal regions of California to the mountain ranges east of the Cascade Mountains. (22)

Preferred Habitat

Elk live in a variety of habitats, ranging from rainforests to meadows and deserts to wood forests. Open areas provide seasonal forage which is essential for survival.

Elk can also travel in herds so this requires sizable land to inhabit.

Elk in western parts of North America that experience a high volume of snow or severe winter patterns migrate to a higher elevation during summer months.

They are extremely adaptable and often respond approvingly to vegetation change or impacts.  

Physical Characteristics

Elk have thick broad bodies with tall lean legs and stocky tails. The largest of the subspecies, the Roosevelt Elk, found near the Cascade range is reported to be up to 1,300 pounds. While the smallest subspecies, the Tule Elk can weigh up to 700 pounds. During winter months,

Elk grow a dense coat of hair that aids them in insulating. This type of deer also has very defined small rump patches with short tails. 

Mating habits

During the late summer months and into the fall is usually when breeding begins for Elk. The bugle of the male Elk (Bull) soars through the mountains and they clear the velvet off their new antlers using them in their battles to determine who gets to mate with whom.

The Bulls will gather Cows (female Elk) into groups called harems and will guard them from other Bulls.

Bull Elk with His Harem of Cows

When Cows wander too far away from the harem, the Bull will rush ahead of her and force her back into the group. 

Elk have a gestation period of 240 - 260 days and calves are born in May and June.

Hunting Opportunities

Elk are a popular game animal for hunters wherever they exist. The most popular way of hunting them for bow hunters and rifle hunters alike is to call them in during the rut.

The caller makes the sound of the cow elk and if the hunter is lucky, the bull will come into range looking for the cow. 

This can be very exciting as the bulls are very good at pinpointing where the call is coming from and may appear at the hunters side out of nowhere.

7. Moose

Bull Moose

Moose are the largest member of the deer familyr, with male’s antlers spreading as wide as six feet from end to end. 

Moose are known for their spryness on land, running up to 35 miles per hour and easily galloping up to 20 miles per hour. Although they are agile on land, Moose are also quite comfortable in the water.

Their range extends through the northern parts of the United States and almost all of Canada. Moose have also extended their distribution as far south as Utah. In North America.

There are four subspecies of Moose, including the Eastern Moose which inhabits eastern Canada and parts of northeastern U.S. The Northwestern Moose inhabits parts of Canada and northwestern parts of the U.S. The Shiras moose inhabits the areas of The Rocky Mountains and the Alaskan moose which inhabits Alaska and parts of Canada. 

Preferred Habitat

The Moose’s preferred habitat consists of heavily planted areas full of shrubs that have been impacted by flooding, avalanches, and forest fires.

Moose are cold-adapted mammals with a thick heat-retaining coat which allows them to withstand harsh cold climates.

Moose often inhabit wetlands such as streams, rivers, and lakes feeding on aquatic plants both below and above the surface.

Moose Feeding In The Water

Moose are not able to tolerate heat and survive hot climates by seeking shade or immersing themselves in cold water.

Physical Characteristics

Moose have long faces and muzzles that hang below their chins. They are known for their distinct appearance, which consists of their mountainous size, a dark brownish-black fur coat, lengthy legs, and vast flat antlers of the male Moose (Bull). They are the largest mammal in North America.

Males are heavier than females, weighing up to 1,300 pounds, while females weigh up to 900 pounds and range up to seven foot tall. 

Mating habits

The Moose rut occurs in September so that calves are born in June. This helps to ensure the calves survival given the cold climate that the Moose inhabits. 

Rutting Bulls search for females with the smell of their urine.  They will also cease feeding altogether for up to two weeks while seeking several females to reproduce with.

Frustrated bulls will often ravage the brush with their huge antlers during the rut. 

Due to their large stature, Moose have a longer gestation period of approximately eight months. 

Hunting Opportunities

Moose hunting is among some of the best big game hunting in North America, and tags can be difficult to obtain which is why hunters cherish the opportunity.

The best time to hunt Moose is during the rut and hunters from all over will travel to hunt Moose with bows and rifles.

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The best way to hunt Moose is to find an established guide in the area that you want to hunt, although some dedicated hunters are successful hunting on their own.

8. Caribou (Reindeer)


The name Caribou, used in North America refers to the wild population of Reindeer, which is the name commonly used in Europe. Caribou is a species of deer that is native to the Arctic and mountainous areas of Europe and North America. 

Caribou migrate extensively. When summer months approach, herds move north to their grazing lands. While during winter they migrate south, where they spend their time sheltered and eating lichens.

Their general distribution covers northern North America, Europe, and Asia. In North America their range extends from Alaska to northern Canada. 

Preferred Habitat

Caribou primarily live in boreal and sub boreal forests in North America and also prefer northern Canada and Alaska.

In Alaska, Caribou prefer treeless tundra during all seasons, but most herds prefer boreal forests in the winter. 

Barren Ground Caribou in Autumn in Alaska

Physical Characteristics

Caribou have large hooves that are useful tools for life in the harsh northlands. They are also the only type of deer where both females and males have antlers.

Standing as tall as a six-foot man, male Caribou can weigh up to 700 pounds while females can weigh up to 260 pounds.

They typically possess brown coats with subtle white hues. 

Mating habits

Rut season for Caribou begins in early September through late November and the gestation period is normally seven and a half months.

Males battle for dominance, essentially accessing females by attaching antlers to other males and forcing the other away.

The most dominant male Caribou can breed with up to 20 different females and even stop eating during this time. 

Hunting Opportunities

The easiest Caribou hunting opportunity can be found in Alaska. Although they aren’t incredibly difficult to hunt, some of the larger Bulls can be a challenge to find.

Caribou season typically begins in August and ends in December following the migration of the great herds. 

Most hunters enjoy this type of game for the uniqueness of their antlers, which have a very individual look with a number of points and eye guards.  

9. Sika Deer

Sika deer on a hillside

Sika Deer, also referred to as the spotted or Japanese deer, is native to east Asia and currently overabundant in Japan. They are also found in Maryland and Texas in the United States.

Japan has the largest population of the Sika Deer, with efforts being made to control its growing community. Their range encompasses densely populated areas, extending to subtropical forests of eastern Asia. 

Preferred Habitat

Their preferred habitat is mostly dense forests. They forage in forested areas that have been cleared but also migrate to woodlands farmland. The Sika Deer are easily adaptable to a variety of habitats, which allows them to inhabit most areas they are located. 

Physical Characteristics

The Sika Deer are one of the few types of deer that do not lose their spots when they mature. They have large dominant spots on the back of their light brownish coat.

Males usually weigh around 90 pounds and females can weigh up to 70 pounds. They also possess a dense, delicate-legged, short body that features strong, upright antlers for the stags (male Sika Deer).  

Mating habits

Breeding begins in late September, where males will mate with several females. The gestation period for this type of deer is approximately seven months, where the mother gives birth to a single fawn.

Sika Deer Mother and Fawn

Most Sika Deer breed in their second year of life, which is also when stags typically reach maturity and begin showing dominance. 

Hunting Opportunities

The Sika Deer is hunted extensively throughout their range. Bow hunters and gun hunters alike pursue the Sika Deer. 

 Although, if you are wanting to hunt them within their historic range, it is only legal in Russia.

In the United States, Sika Deer can be hunted in both Maryland and in Texas.

10. Red Deer

Red Deer Stag

The Red Deer, closely related to the Elk, is found in Europe, parts of western Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Peru. The Red Deer is almost always seen roaming in herds and are also considered an important source of food for many animals. 

They are known for their migration patterns which include spending their winters at lower altitudes in wooded areas and migrating to higher elevations during the summer months. 

Preferred Habitat

Red Deer prefer open woodlands and they avoid dense unbroken forests and can be seen in coniferous swamps, aspen hardwood forests, and clear cuts. They prefer temperate and cold climates but are known to be adaptable animals. 

Physical Characteristics

The Red Deer possess a short reddish-brown coat color in the summer and turn a grayish-brown color in the winter. They have a rump patch and short tail that is a yellowish-cream color which distinguishes them from other subspecies.

Adult Red Deer are hardly ever seen with spots and stags have antlers that are long and sweep backwards. 

Mating habits

Rutting season begins in the spring into early summer for the Red Deer with the gestation period lasting about seven months.

Red Stag Guarding His Female

The Red Deer Stags will compete for females by roaring and fighting to establish dominance. 

One male will breed with multiple females with the dominant males maintaining their harems (groups). 

Typically, females give birth to one or two offspring per year. 

Hunting Opportunities

The Red Stag is among the toughest game to hunt, they are elusive and possess some of the best venison meat ever tasted.

More often than not, the success of hunting the Red Deer can be accomplished with a rifle.

The only Red Deer hunting in the United States is on private game ranches where the deer have been introduced.

11. Axis Deer

Axis Deer

The Axis Deer, also known as the Chital or Spotted Deer, is a type of deer native to the Indian subcontinent. Axis Deer were first introduced in 1932 as a game meat and have since escaped and established in Texas. 

Preferred Habitat

Their preferred habitat is of a warmer climate and can be found in open areas during the warm times of the day. Grass fields near wooded shelters are where this type of deer can be seen inhabiting. They also prefer forests close to rivers because of the vegetation that thrives near those areas.

Physical Characteristics

The Axis Deer is described as relatively large, males can weigh up to 250 pounds, while females weigh around 100 pounds. Males grow large antlers, while females do not. Their underside is normally a faint white while their coat is a brown or reddish-brown with small white spots. 

Mating habits

Males fight with other males to show dominance during the rutting season. The strongest male with the hardest antlers get to reproduce. Females typically give birth to a single fawn after the 7.5 month gestation period. Breeding season takes place throughout the year. 

Hunting Opportunities

Texas is the primary place for hunting Axis Deer with both private and free range opportunities. Free range hunting needs only a permit, while private hunting may require fees, permission, and permits. Comfortable blinds and tree stands are commonly used when hunting this type of deer but the method of spot-and-stalk is also applied.  

Final Thoughts On Types of Deer 

The information and facts presented in this article offers extensive knowledge to help you understand and appreciate the different types of deer that are found around the world. 

From the diminutive Key Deer to the giant Moose, the characteristics and habits of each of these deer are fascinating and volumes can be written about the different species.

We hope that we have given you a glimpse into each of these types of deer and that you have gained an understanding and appreciation for the species.

Types Of Deer FAQ

Q: How many types of deer are there?

A: There are 43 species of deer in the world, but there are also many subspecies which means that there are hundreds of different types of deer across the globe.

Q: How many types of deer are there in North America?

A: 10 types of deer in this article are found in North America. They are the Whitetail, Mule Deer, Coues Deer, Key Deer, Black-Tailed Deer, Elk, Moose, Caribou, Sika Deer and Axis Deer.

Q: What is the largest deer?

A: The largest deer is the Moose. The male or Bull Moose can weigh as much as 1800 pounds and can range up to 7 feet tall.

Q: What is a group of deer called?

A: A group of deer is called a herd.

Q: Can female deer have antlers?

A: Caribou (Reindeer) are the only deer in which both males and females have antlers.

Q: What are baby deer called?

A: Baby deer are called fawns.

Q: What state has the biggest whitetail bucks?

A: The biggest whitetail bucks are found in the midwest. Here are the top 10 states ranked for the biggest whitetail bucks. 

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Illinois
  3. Iowa
  4. Minnesota
  5. Ohio
  6. Kentucky
  7. Missouri
  8. Kansas
  9. Texas 
  10. Arkansas

Q: What eats a deer?

A: Deer have many predators including Humans, Coyotes, Wolves, Bobcats, Mountain lions, Bears and Jaguars.

Q: Do deer abandon their fawns if you touch them?

A: No deer do not abandon fawns if you touch them. This is a myth. The mother rarely abandons her fawns and will readily accept them even when they have been touched by humans.

Q: How old are deer before they breed?

A: Female deer reach their first estrus cycle at 6 months of age and are capable of breeding at that time. They will give birth to their first set of fawns when they are one year old.

Q: Do mother deer leave their babies alone?

A: Yes mother deer leave their babies alone when they are young and unable to keep up. The mother will come back to the fawn when it is time for the fawn to nurse.

Q: How long is a whitetail deer's gestation?

A: A whitetail deer's gestation period is 200 days.

Q: How many times a year do deer breed?

A: Deer breed once per year. The female deer comes into heat for 24 hours during which time she is normally bred. If for some reason she is not bred, she will come into heat for another 24 hours one month later. This will continue until she is successfully bred.

Q: Do deer sleep?

A: Yes, deer do sleep, but not like humans. Click here to learn how, when and where deer sleep.

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John VanDerLaan

John VanDerLaan is the managing editor here at DeerHuntingGuide.net. He oversees a team of editors, writers and pro staff that are subject matter experts in hunting and hunting gear. John's expertise includes thoroughly testing all types of hunting gear, as well as hunting all over the U.S. and Canada. While his hunting expertise includes game birds, small game and large game, his favorite game animal is the whitetail deer and he loves to share the knowledge that he has gained over 40 years of chasing the wily whitetail with both archery gear and firearms. John is an active member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

2 thoughts on “Types Of Deer – Species Facts and Information”

  1. A large deer ran across the road at night right in front of my car on Daniel Island, SC. It appeared to have stripes!?!? It was grayish brown and had either small stubby antlers or fairly stiff ears. I googled deer many times today. I would guess its closest resemblance would be a Sika deer but I know they’re not in South Carolina.

    • Hi Jane,

      I don’t know of any striped deer in South Carolina. It could be possible that it is from an exotic farm in the area, although I am not familiar with any of those either.

      Sorry I could not be more helpful, but perhaps our readers will have more insight.

      Thanks again,


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