White-tailed deer are the smallest of the three members of the deer family found in Michigan, the others being elk and moose. They range throughout Michigan and are a game animal in this state. As a species, the extend from the southern edge of the arctic prairies in Canada, all the way to the northern bank of the Amazon River.
"White-tailed" refers to the distinctive white tail that when raised is a flag and provides a flash of white, signaling other deer when there is danger. Deer are graceful and swift runners (up to 35 miles per hour), but do not generally run long distances, preferring to seek the nearest shelter whenever possible. Male deer are called "bucks", females "does" and baby deer "fawns". These deer tend to live in female-led family groups of up to 25 deer and may live to ten years or more.
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