- Average weight for bucks is 90 kilograms (200 pounds).
- Does weigh about 60 kilograms (130 pounds).
- Colouration changes from reddish-brown in summer to greyish- brown in winter.
- Tail is broad and brown, fringed with white, and white underneath. When running, the tail is held erect, exposing its
white underside, hence the name "white-tail."
- Unlike mule deer, white-tails have no rump patch.
- Buck’s antlers have unbranched tines extending up from single beams.
- White-tailed deer are extremely wary, and when alarmed they move rapidly, bounding away in smooth, graceful leaps.
- The white-tailed deer is Alberta's most abundant cloven-hoofed animal.
- White-tailed deer are found in the prairie, parkland and southern boreal zones.
- Their range is expanding westward into the foothills, mountains and northward further into the boreal zone.
- Typical habitat includes aspen groves, wooded river flats and coulees.
- In addition to food, brushy patches also provide good cover, in which even the largest white-tail is difficult to see.
- Diet includes:
- Choke cherry
- Saskatoon and other shrubs.
- In Alberta, the rut, or mating season usually occurs in November.
- One or two spotted fawns are born to each doe the following spring.
White-tailed deer are classified as Secure in the General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. See:
See details in the Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations. To view the guide online or to order a printed copy, visit
the My Wild Alberta website at:
- Mule deer and white-tailed deer are similar in seasonal colouring and overall appearance, and both
species possess excellent senses of sight, smell and hearing.
- Antlers, tails and overall size help distinguish mule and white-tailed deer species from one another:
- Antlers of white-tailed bucks have unbranched tines extending from single beams, whereas the beams of mule deer antlers
divide into two equal tines.
- White-tailed deer have a broader tail than mule deer, and lack the white rump patch.
- White-tailed deer are slightly smaller than mule deer.
- Unlike the wary white-tail, mule deer are often inquisitive. When alarmed and running, they often stop for a last look
before bounding out of sight.
Updated: Jun 1, 2009