- There are about 320,000 deer in Maine.
- The most common whitetail deer in North America have white marks underneath their tails.
- Whitetail deer are beautiful medium-sized deer that are native to North America, Central America, and South America.
When most people hear or read the state ‘Maine‘, they think of lobsters and delicious seafood. This beautiful state has many fisheries and about 3,500 miles of beautiful coastlines. Even though Maine is known for its fisheries and lobsters, there are other larger animals.
For example, there are about 320,000 deer in Maine. Interestingly, most of these deer live in central and south Maine. Hunting is a big recreational activity in the state, and it includes whitetail deer. Some impressive catches have occurred in Maine. Are you ready to discover the largest whitetail deer ever caught in Maine?
About Whitetail Deer
Whitetail deer are beautiful medium-sized deer that are native to North America, Central America, and South America. Most subspecies live in North America, though. In total, there are 26 subspecies of whitetail deer. These beautiful animals have been introduced into other places including the Caribbean and some European countries. The whitetail deer population is declining and has lost 7 million since 2000, but the population is considered healthy. At one point, whitetail deer were almost extinct after being over-hunted in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Whitetail Deer: Size And Appearance
Not all whitetail deer look alike. However, the most common whitetail deer in North America have white marks underneath their tails. They sometimes also have white marks on their face, surrounding their eyes and in their ears. Adult whitetail deer have reddish-brown coats in spring and summer, which helps them stay hidden from predators. During winter and fall, their coats thicken and change to grayish-brown, helping them survive harsh and cold winters. A whitetail deer’s coat color can tell us a lot about them, including its age. Older whitetail deer have greyer coats.
Like a whitetail deer’s appearance, their size varies. The average male whitetail deer also called a buck, weighs 150 to 300 pounds. However, whitetail deer in the north grow larger and sometimes surpass 400 pounds. Female whitetail deer, commonly referred to as doe, are 88 to 198 pounds. Some subspecies are smaller, like the Florida Keys whitetail deer. Some females weigh as little as 55 pounds fully grown.
Whitetail Deer: Diet
Whitetail deer aren’t picky eaters, but their diet slightly varies with each season. Whitetail deer, for the most part, are herbivores, but they are also opportunists. For example, researchers have noted that hungry whitetail deer eat nesting birds and birds trapped in nets. However, whitetail deer typically eat woody plants, wildflowers, legumes, and berries. During spring and summer, whitetail deer consume aquatic vegetation and leafy greens. Whitetail deer living in snowy areas lose this food source and instead focus on nuts, soybeans, and corn.
Whitetail Deer: Distribution
Whitetail deer live all over the United States. They prefer wooded areas and forests to hide from predators. Some states have higher populations. For example, Texas has the most deer in all of the U.S. with a deer population of 5.5 million. It’s hard to estimate their populations in each state since whitetail deer are quick and stay away from humans. But states like Hawaii don’t have established whitetail deer. There are no native deer in Hawaii.
The Largest Whitetail Deer Ever Caught In Maine
According to the Boone and Crocket Club, the largest typical whitetail deer ever caught in Maine scored 193 2/8 by Ronnie Cox in 1965. For non-typical whitetail deer, Hill Gould made first place in 1910, over a century ago! He scored 259. An honorable mention of how impressive the catch was is the legendary Hinckley buck. Horace Hinckley was hunting with his wife near his home in Maine. After 30 minutes of finding a new location, Horace killed a giant but had to wait days before he could find a scale to weigh his catch. When he weighed the buck, it was 355 pounds. The estimated live weight was 450 to 500 pounds.
Not All Deer Are The Same
In the U.S. alone, there are seven different species of deer, as well as several sub-species. The most common is the regular deer or Mule deer. Here is how the Mule deer is different than the Whitetail deer:
|Whitetail Deer||Mule Deer|
|Size||1.7 to 3.9 feet, at shoulders||3 to 3.5 feet, at shoulders|
|Color||Reddish brown with a brown face; eyes and mouth have a ring of white.||Grayish brown with a mostly white face.|
|Lifespan||6 to 8 years||9 to 11 years|
|Weight||Females, 100 pounds|
Males, 150 pounds
|Females, 100 to 220 pounds|
Males, up to 300 pounds
Other Common Animals In Maine
Maine is home to a lot of diverse wildlife. During hunting season, you can hunt black bears, moose, and snowshoe hares. Maine is the biggest state in New England, with approximately 17,532,518 acres of forest land. Many animals use the wooded areas to hide from larger predators. Popular parks to visit in Maine are Camden Hills State Park, Moose Point State Park, and Ferry Beach State Park. Next time you visit Maine, be on the lookout for the following common animals:
- Canada Lynx
- Flying Squirrel
- White Footed Mouse
- Eastern Chipmunk
- Striped Skunk
- Masked Shrew
- Meadow Vole
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Tom Reichner/Shutterstock.com
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