About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the Nebraska Hunter Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Hunter Education Certificate.

Learn More Register for the Course

White-Tailed Deer

Reddish-brown to blue-gray or tan coloring; underside of tail is white, producing a "flag" when raised off the rump. Antlers on male primarily consist of main beam with tines growing from it. Maximum antler size occurs between 5–7 years of age.

Habitat and Habits

Range movements limited to one to three miles, depending on sex, age, and habitat. Herbivore. Lives up to 10 years. Male is polygamous with most whitetails in North America rutting in November. One to two spotted fawns typical.

  • Male Whitetail Deer
    Male White-Tailed Deer
  • Female Whitetail Deer
    Female White-Tailed Deer
  • White-Tailed Deer Tracks

How to Distinguish Adult White-Tailed Deer from Fawns*


  • Short, square bodies (look like a "briefcase" from a distance)
  • Short necks and less muscle development
  • Rarely have swaying backs or sagging bellies
  • Ears appear large in comparison to head


  • Larger, rectangular-shaped bodies (look like a "suitcase" from a distance)
  • Long necks
Distinguish adult deer from fawns

How to Identify Buck Fawns*

  • Presence of developing antlers
  • Head appears more flat and less rounded between ears
White-Tailed Buck Fawn

How to Identify Doe Fawns*

  • No developing antlers
  • Head appears slightly rounded between ears
White-Tailed Doe Fawn

* Courtesy of the Quality Deer Management Association