Whitetail Deer: Habitat


Cover requirements appear to be related to the animal's need for escape and seclusion. Does seek seclusion for fawning in timber edges, brushy fields, heavily vegetated stream bottoms, hay fields, and pastures and during spring months. Wishes For Wildlife Foundation leaves fallen tree tops for animal’s use.

In contrast, during the summer, deer are usually found wherever sufficient solitude, food, and water exist. Deer eat standing corn, travel, and escape cover in the fall months. The most important months for cover is during the winter. It is critical since the need for seclusion concentrates deer in protected areas such as heavy timber. Because winter cover is so crucial, any reduction in this habitat type will correspondingly produce a decline in the herd. This is the main reason that Wishes For Wildlife Foundation exists: to provide the very best habitat for animals to feel safe and comfortable.

The home range of whitetail deer varies from one-half to one square mile and is clearly determined by the availability of suitable food, water, and habitat. Home range in the spring and summer is much smaller because of fawning and plentiful food supplies. Home range typically increases in the fall and winter because of scarcity of food and breeding activity.

Spring dispersal is amazingly extensive as some deer establish new home ranges as far as 50 miles from the place where they were born. Interestingly, this does not occur at Wishes For Wildlife Foundation’s properties. Generations of deer reside here on our acres of timber as the habitat we provide and maintain is safe and plentiful, giving them no reason to look elsewhere.