Seven Uncommon Surprises About the Common White-tailed Deer

Earlier this month, we issued a stamped card featuring a graphic of a golden deer. More than 40 species of deer are found around the world, and the white-tailed deer is the most common deer species in the United States. Here are a few other things you might not know about this graceful animal:

  • Deer-2013-Forever-envelope-TC-BGv1As many as 30 million white-tailed deer are estimated to live in the U.S., but the animals range as far north as Canada and as far south as Bolivia.
  • European settlers eventually hunted whitetails nearly to extinction, reducing a population of some 25 to 40 million down to 500,000 or fewer by the late 1800s. People on the frontier fashioned deerskins into jackets, clothing, and moccasins, and even traded the skins, known as buckskins, as a form of currency. As a result, a dollar bill is known as a “buck” to this day. With game management, the whitetail population eventually rebounded.
  • Excellent runners and swimmers, whitetails can exceed speeds of 30 miles per hour when fleeing a predator.
  • Some of the largest whitetails can be found in northern populations, where adult males can stand three feet high at the shoulder and weigh more than 300 pounds.

    First Day Cover

    The Deer stamped card was issued March 8, 2013, in Middleburg, Virginia. Mark the occasion with an official first day cover. Click the image for more details.

  • According to Connecticut’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, female deer (does) will often leave their offspring (fawns) alone in the woods. But for a very good reason: “Frequently, well-meaning people find a fawn alone in the woods and bring it home without realizing that the doe was nearby all the time. To divert the attention of predators, female deer only visit their fawns three or four times a day, for about 15 minutes per visit, in order to feed them.”
  • Male deer’s antlers fall off in winter, providing an important source of calcium and minerals for small animals such as mice, squirrels, porcupines, and even the deer themselves, which seek out the antlers and gnaw on them.
  • Whitetails are named for the white undersides of their tails. When bounding away from danger, these deer raise their tails like a signaling flag, exposing the pale hair underneath.

If you’d like to learn more about the white-tailed deer, visit National Geographic.

The Deer Stamped Card is currently available in Post Offices and in our online store. Because it is a Forever® stamped card, its postage will always be equal to the value of the postcard rate in effect at the time of use, even if the rate increases after purchase. Why not stock up today?