10 Fascinating Types of Deer: Guide To Different Deer Species In The United States

The word deer was originally broad in meaning, and only gradually became more specific. Today, 43 species of deer make up the family Cervidae.

The United States is home to an abundance of deer species, from the American whitetail and Moose to the mighty Elk and stunning Fallow Deer.

For deer hunters, different types of deer present different challenges. Hunting them also requires different strategies. If you’re looking to change things up this season and find new game, this is your guide!

I’ll take you through ten of the most popular types of deer found across the United States. This article has everything you need to know, from physical appearance to preferred habitat. You’ll also learn about deer behavior and the best hunting opportunities.


1. White-Tailed Deer

  • Scientific name: Odocoileus virginianus
  • Shoulder height: 3-3.5 feet
  • Weight: 150-300 lbs (Males); 90 -200 lbs (Females)

The White-tailed deer, also called the Whitetail Deer or Virginia Deer, is the most widely distributed ungulate in North America. The white-tailed deer is the adaptable New World deer counterpart to the European Roe Deer and Western Roe Deer.

This deer species is found as far north as Canada and as far south as Mexico. It also ranges through northern South America and most of Central America.

According to the Wildlife Management Institute, there are 38 subspecies of white-tailed deer. Many subspecies are remarkably similar, but vary in size depending on location.

Physical characteristics

The size and appearance of white-tailed deer vary according to their geographical location. Larger species are more common in northern latitudes and the smallest species of white-tailed deer further south.

The white-tailed deer has a slender build, long legs, a thin neck, and a graceful head. This deer’s coat is reddish-brown in spring and summer, turning grayish-brown in fall and winter.

A whitetail deer can be recognized by the characteristic white underside of its long, bushy tail. A whitetail deer’s tail lifts up when warning a predator that they’ve been spotted. They often have white patches along the side of the body and sides of the face.

Preferred habitat

Common to deciduous forests, the white-tailed deer is an extremely adaptable deer species that flourish in various habitats.

White-tailed deer are equally at home in wilderness, farmlands, wooded areas, and wetlands. They’ve acclimatized well to man-made changes in the American landscape, successfully populating agricultural areas and even some urban suburbs.

Mating & reproduction

The reproductive cycle of white-tailed deer varies depending on the geographical location.

The mating season for all deer species is known as the rut (October-November). During this period, whitetail bucks fight fiercely to establish dominance and form a social hierarchy.

The gestation period is more or less seven months (or 200 days), and a female deer gives birth to two or three fawns.

Hunting opportunities

White-tailed deer are one of North America’s most popular big game animals. Hunters relish a challenging game, and whitetails present a sharp-eyed and demanding hunt.

Whitetail deer populations are massive across the United States, making hunting opportunities plentiful.

The whitetail deer is by far the most hunted of the different types of deer. The buck’s coveted broad antlers are considered a victory trophy for many hunters. Its venison has been a staple of the American diet for generations.


2. Mule Deer

  • Scientific name: Odocoileus hemionus
  • Shoulder height: 3-3.5 feet
  • Weight: 110-165 lbs (Does); 150-250 lbs (Bucks)

Named for their large, mule-like ears, the Mule Deer is native to the western half of North America. They can be grouped into two subspecies of black-tailed deer.

While indigenous to western North America, this species of deer finds its home in the coniferous forests of the Rocky Mountains. Mule deer can also be found as far north as the Canadian Rockies and as far south as the Mexican deserts.

Physical characteristics

Often mistaken for the whitetail deer, mule deer are generally larger. They have large, prominent ears, smaller tails, and a forked antler structure. The easiest way to spot the difference between these two deer species is to look at the tail. A mule deer’s tail is all-white with a black tip.

The defining characteristic of the mule deer species is their large ears, which are around three-fourths the length of the head. They have distinctive black masks that contrast with their light gray faces.

In the summer, their coats are tannish-brown, while in the winter and fall, they’re brownish-gray in color.

Unique behavior & habits

Mule deer are a social species, usually living in family groups with several generations of related females and their offspring. Bucks will often form groups or are otherwise solitary.

Mule deer behave very differently from whitetails. Despite dealing with larger predators, mule deer are less cautious and skittish. Bucks are also less aggressive.

Mixed family groups join in the winter to form a larger herd. These massive herds split up with the approaching spring and live in small groups for most of the year.

Preferred habitat

The Mule Deer is extremely adaptable in its habitat preferences. Depending on the season, they inhabit grasslands, forests, shrubland, and fields. They are commonly found in dry arid locations in western North America, as well as open regions and rocky hillsides.

Unlike other types of deer, mule deer avoid denser, thicker areas and thrive best in dry, open environments. They prefer habitats that have a combination of early-stage plant growth, extensive shrub growth, and mixed-species plant communities.

Mating & reproduction

Mule deer are polygynous, with courtship and mating occurring within the group. The timing of reproduction varies according to where the deer live.

During the rut, bucks of similar size and strength fight for the right to mate with females. Victorious bucks attract females and protect them from the attention of other (often younger) bucks.

Females reach sexual maturity at about 18 months. Young males are not allowed to participate in the rut until they are three to four years old.

Gestation lasts approximately seven months (200 days), and one or two fawns are born in early summer.

Hunting opportunities

Whether you’re hunting in dense forests or open country, you’ll find plenty of hunting opportunities for mule deer.

Mule deer hunting is available in 16 Western states. Hunters living in Colorado, in particular, will have an absolute field day when it comes to mule deer hunting.

Most deer tags are distributed through a type of limited draw that must be applied for either archery or rifle seasons. The good news is there is an abundance of units where tags are easy to draw from.


3. Caribou (Reindeer)

  • Scientific name: Rangifer tarandus
  • Shoulder height: 3-5 feet
  • Weight: 350-400 lbs (Males): 175-225 lbs (Females)

Popularly known for pulling Santa’s sleigh, the Caribou are indigenous to North America. In Europe, this deer species is known as Reindeer. In fact, reindeer and caribou are recognized as the same species of deer (Rangifer tarandus), and both names are used interchangeably.

There are a total of seven subspecies of caribou and reindeer recognized worldwide. In North America, caribou range in size from the smallest, the Peary caribou, to the largest, the boreal woodland caribou.

These aren’t easy deer to see, as they’re isolated to the polar tundra and arctic regions of North America, Siberia, and Eurasia.

Uniquely, this is the only deer species where both males and females grow antlers.

Physical characteristics

The Caribou is a medium to large-sized cervid of the deer family. They have long legs and wide, flat hooves, allowing them to quickly move over snow and dig for food, almost like snowshoes. Their tail and ears are small to prevent excessive loss of heat.

While both male and female caribou grow antlers, males’ are larger and more branched, which can extend to over 3.25 feet.

This deer species typically possess brown coats with whitish or grayish patches on their neck, rump, and sometimes flanks. During the rut, bulls grow a beautiful whitish mane as well as a pronounced dewlap.

Unique behavior & habits

Caribou perform one of the most grueling animal migrations of any other land mammal, covering a round migration journey of over 3,100 miles (5,000 km). Herds of thousands visit spring calving areas and summer and winter feeding grounds.

Caribou live in large groups numbering tens of thousands. These communities form in summer and slowly disperse in winter. Herd numbers begin to grow again during the rut and the fall migration.

Preferred habitat

Caribou primarily live in arctic tundra regions, subarctic boreal forests, and mountainous habitats. They have a circumpolar distribution range, which means that they are found over a wide range of longitudes but only at high latitudes.

You can find wild herds of Caribou across northern Europe, Asia, and North America. Some populations of Caribou are sedentary, while others complete long seasonal migrations from fawning grounds to summer and winter feeding grounds.

Mating & reproduction

Depending on the location, the rutting period takes place during the fall between October and early November. During this period, bulls will fight for access to females.

Caribou are polygynous animals. The most dominant males will collect as many as 15-20 females to mate with.

A single calf is born in the late spring following a gestation period of around seven months (210-240 days).

Hunting opportunities

Caribou hunters will need to head to Alaska or Canada if they want a shot at tagging this deer species.

While caribou aren’t especially difficult to hunt, some larger males can be challenging to find. Caribou deer hunting takes grit but is well worth it. Most hunters enjoy hunting this type of game for the uniqueness of their antlers.


4. Red Deer

  • Scientific name: Cervus elaphus
  • Shoulder height: 3-4 feet
  • Weight: 300-500 lbs (Males); 200-370 lbs (Females)

The Red Deer is the fourth-largest deer in the world, following the moose, elk, and sambar deer. Red deer are widespread but sporadically distributed in the Palaearctic region. They can be found in most of Europe, West and Central Asia, and North Africa.

This species of deer is incredibly adaptable. It has been introduced in South America and regions of the US for deer hunting and farming interests.

Physical characteristics

Red deer are easily recognizable due to their nearly uniform coloration: rich reddish-brown in summer, turning to grayish-brown in winter. This deer species is a large, impressive-looking animal with a slender body, long legs, and a graceful head and neck.

A distinctive feature of the males (known as stags) is their long, branched crown of antlers. The long branches are usually swept backward and flanked in front by much shorter branches.

Size and weight vary considerably depending on their geographical range.

Unique behavior & habits

Red deer are sociable, often associating with family groups. But there is a distinct sexual segregation among this deer species that appears to vary geographically.

Hinds form small herds with their offspring, with a dominant female leading the group. On the other hand, stags typically separate into bachelor groups and are much looser in structure than the female herd. Older stags become solitary.

Red deer are rather sedentary in behavior and don’t migrate or move around to any great extent. They feed early in the morning and late evening, resting most of the day.

Preferred habitat

Red deer frequent open deciduous, blended woodlands and forests. They prefer temperate and cold climates. However, they are highly adaptable animals and can be found in open grasslands and meadows, conifer plantations, river valleys, and mountainous areas.

Deer populations can be found as far north as Canada down to South America.

Mating & reproduction

Mating season takes place from spring to early summer. Stags will compete fiercely to establish dominance and earn the right to breed. The strongest stags will breed with multiple females and maintain harems.

Fighting can be so intense that many males are spent to the point that they lose the stamina to survive the winter.

Hinds have a gestation period of around seven months (220-240 days), after which a single calf is born, but two can be born on occasion.

Hunting opportunities

The only red deer hunting opportunities in the US are on private game ranches where the deer have been introduced. Particularly in Texas, where there is a rather substantial population. There are no restrictions on hunting this deer species, making it a year-round opportunity for hunters.

Elusive and shift, red deer are among the toughest game to hunt. They don’t come easy unless you’re very lucky. However, they possess some of the best venison meat ever tasted, and the stag’s antlers are highly prized, making the hunt all the more worth it.


5. Black-Tailed Deer

  • Scientific name: Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  • Shoulder height: 3 feet
  • Weight: 200 lbs (Males): 130 lbs (Females)

A subspecies of the Mule Deer, black-tailed deer or blacktail deer is primarily found along the western side of North America, including Northern California, Washington, western Oregon, and near coastal British Columbia and southeast Alaska.

The blacktail deer has sometimes been treated as its own species, but virtually all recent authorities maintain they are subspecies. The black-tailed deer group consists of two subspecies, the Sitka and Columbian black-tailed deer. Both subspecies are smaller and darker than the mule and whitetail deer.

Physical characteristics

This deer species features broad black/dark brown tails with a white underside. Their fur ranges from reddish-brown in summer to a light ash-gray or brownish-gray in winter.

Columbian blacktails can stand at around 3 feet tall at shoulder height, while bucks can weigh around 200 pounds (91 kg) and does around 130 pounds (59 kg). Sitka blacktails are much smaller; bucks weigh around 120 pounds and does around 80 pounds.

Male blacktails have long, dark brown antlers with symmetrical branching.

Unique behavior & habits

Blacktails are nocturnal in nature, meaning they’re most active between dusk and dawn. During the day, you’ll find them resting in thickets near streams. These ungulates are browsers and can often be seen browsing on the roadside.

This deer species communicate through bleats, as well as scent and pheromones secreted from glands at the bottom part of their legs.

Blacktails have an excellent sense of hearing thanks to their large ears that can move independently. Bucks have incredible eyesight as well and can see other animals as far away as 2,000 feet (600 m).

Preferred habitat

Blacktails prefer “edge” habitats where forested areas and foothills meet grasslands, meadows, clearings, and shorelines. Habitats most likely to be inhabited by blacktails are highly dense in shrubs for food and protection against predators.

This deer species are not migrators, often spending their entire lives in areas as small as three square miles.

Columbian blacktail deer are seen from California to British Columbia, while Sitka blacktails live in Alaska.

Mating & reproduction

Breeding season for blacktail deer begins in November to December. During this time, sparring between males occurs to establish dominance and win a female’s attention. Bucks with large, heavy antlers are most preferred by does.

A 6-7 month gestation period is followed by the birth of two fawns, but if the doe is young, only one will be born. Much like other types of deer, bucks form bachelor groups for the summer, as opposed to raising fawns.

Hunting opportunities

Hunting blacktail deer can prove a difficult challenge, and hunter success rates are very low. However, this means tags are fairly easy to obtain in states where blacktails live.

Alaska, Washington, and Oregon offer some excellent blacktail opportunities.

When it comes to blacktail deer hunting, interest is fairly limited, as blacktails live in difficult terrain to navigate, and most hunters prefer other popular game.


6. Moose

  • Scientific name: Alces alces
  • Shoulder height: 5-7 feet
  • Weight: 1,300 pounds (Males); 900 pounds (Females)

Standing at seven feet at the shoulder, the Moose is the largest deer species in the deer family and a member of the New World deer subfamily.

This deer species is native to the colder regions of North America. They primarily live in Alaska and Canada, with Maine having the largest population in the continental US.

Physical characteristics

Moose have a distinctive and easily recognizable appearance. They are characterized by long faces and muzzles that hang below their chin, as well as their humped back, long thin legs, and the broad antlers of a male moose.

Moose are incredibly muscular with bulky bodies and broad shoulders. Most notably, their front legs are longer than their hind legs. Males have an impressive and striking set of antlers, which can spread a massive 6 feet apart.

Lastly, their coloring ranges from brown to dusky black depending on the time of year and the animal’s age.

Unique behavior & habits

In general, moose have distinctly different behavior from other types of deer. Moose are completely solitary and don’t form herds, apart from a mother and her calf.

Unlike most deer species, moose are not skittish, likely due to their large size. Contrary to the misconception that they are slow and clumsy, moose are actually very spry on land. They’re able to run up to 35 miles per hour and easily gallop up to 20 miles per hour.

Moose don’t display territorial behavior and won’t attempt to defend their home range in any way. However, they can become aggressive when provoked.

Preferred habitat

Due to their thick skin and insulating fur, moose are limited to cold climates, including boreal forests and subalpine zones. Forested areas with an abundance of streams, bogs, and rivers are ideal moose habitats.

Moose can also be found in more open habitats, including marshland and moorland. Access to browse species such as willow, aspen, and birch is key for this deer species.

During summer, moose will move away from forested areas and onto tundra plains.

Mating & reproduction

Breeding season begins in September through to November, depending on the location. Males are polygynous and will seek out several females to breed with. Given that moose are solitary and spread out, finding mating partners during the rut is often the main problem moose have during the rut.

During the rut, females emit wail-like sounds, and males produce heavy grunting noises to call out to one another. Much like other types of deer, males will fight for access to females.

The gestation period is eight months (243 days), followed by the birth of one calf, or potentially two if food is plentiful.

Hunting opportunities

Moose hunting is one of the biggest and best hunting opportunities in North America. They produce highly sought-after venison, with each tag producing upwards of 500 pounds of meat.

However, getting the opportunity to hunt a moose can prove difficult for hunters as tags are difficult to obtain and moose are hard to find.

Hunters looking to hunt moose will need to travel to Maine or Alaska.


7. Elk

  • Scientific name: Cervus canadensis
  • Shoulder height: 4.5-5 feet
  • Weight: 700-1,100 lbs (Males); 500-600 lbs (Females)

The Elk is also called “Wapiti,” meaning “white rump” in Shawnee and Cree. It is the second-largest deer species, following the Moose. Native to North America and East Asia, elk are closely related to the red deer of Europe and belong to the subfamily Cervinae or Old World deer.

Elk are primarily found in western North America, especially in the Rocky Mountains. There are four subspecies of elk in North America, including the Rocky Mountain Elk, Roosevelt Elk, Manitoba Elk, and Tule Elk.

Physical characteristics

The most prominent feature of elk (specifically male elk) is their impressive and striking antlers, which sit a mighty four feet (or more) above their head. This deer species features thick board bodies with stocky tails and tall, lean legs.

An elk’s size and weight will depend on its subspecies. The smallest subspecies, the Tule Elk, can weigh up to 700 pounds, while the largest of the subspecies, the Roosevelt Elk, can weigh up to a whopping 1,300 pounds.

The color of their coat depends on habitat and season. In summer, their coats are copper brown and become a light tan in the fall, winter, and spring. Some males may sport a thin mane.

Unique behavior & habits

Elk are social animals that gather in summer herds, comprising up to 400 members. Elk herds are segregated by gender and are matriarchal social units, meaning they’re led by a single female who runs the show. Bulls will either form small groups with other bulls or be solitary. During mating season, male and female elk herds will come together.

Elk are the loudest members of the deer family. Bulls have a loud, high-pitched sound known as bugling, which advertises dominance and attracts mates. Females produce an alarm-like bark to alert others of danger.

Preferred habitat

Elk are highly adaptable to their environment and live in various habitats, from coastal rainforests to grassland, and wood forests to Rocky Mountain alpine. However, their preferred type of habitat is woodlands.

Because elks travel in large herds, they require sizeable land to inhabit. Elk living in mountainous areas migrate to higher altitudes for summer and migrate down the slope for winter, retreating from the deepening snow.

Mating & reproduction

The rut takes place in late summer (mid-August) into the fall (mid-October). The bugling sound of bulls can be heard all through the mountains, and battles will begin to determine who mates with whom.

Dominant bulls will gather females into a harem and guard them against other bulls.

Gestation is between 7-8 months (240-260 days), after which one or rarely two fawns are born.

Hunting opportunities

Second to whitetails, Elk are incredibly popular game animals for hunters. Elk hunting opportunities are ample, and residents of western states enjoy liberal tag allocations.

In most states, non-resident elk hunters must apply for tags through a lottery system during the spring application period.

With over a quarter-million elk in the state, Colorado offers the best opportunities for elk hunting. Meanwhile, Idaho is the best state for drawing a tag.


8. Axis Deer

  • Scientific name: Axis axis
  • Shoulder height: 3.2-5 foot
  • Weight: 145-250 lbs (Males); 90-150 lbs (Females)

The Axis Deer, also known as the Chital Deer or Spotted Deer, is one of the most beautiful species of deer native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka.

This spotted deer is incredibly adaptable and highly prized by hunters, which is why it has been imported and introduced to many locations in the US, including Hawaii and Texas. Axis deer have flourished in southern and central areas of Texas, where the land is similar to their native habitat in India.

Physical characteristics

This deer species boasts a particularly elegant and charming appearance. But their most distinctive and admired feature is their spotted bodies. These high-legged deer have thick necks and long heads. Males grow a set of elegant antlers in lyre-like shape and can reach up to 30 inches long.

The pelage of this spotted deer is a bright golden brown with white patches on the inside of its legs and on its throat (most noticeable in males). Running along their back is a dark stripe bordered by a row of white spots. In addition, the underside of their tail is white.

Unique behavior & habits

Axis deer tend to be more social than other types of deer. Herds range from around six to 30 members, but there have been times when groups of 100 or more have congregated. Groups are a matriarchal bunch with a dominant female that roosts with her offspring.

On the other hand, bucks live in a hierarchical system where larger, older males dominate smaller, younger males.

A behavior unique to this deer species is that bucks can deposit their scent using two glands near their eyes, rubbing their scent on high tree branches.

Perhaps one of the most unique habits of this deer species is that they don’t have a specific mating season.

Preferred habitat

Axis prefer to inhabit areas with woody vegetation for cover and open areas for feeding, such as dense forests, open grasslands, and forested valleys. They can be found in Sir Lanka and in abundance throughout India.

Large numbers of deer are kept in the US, especially in Texas. There are also free-ranging axis populations on the Hawaiian Islands of Maui and Molokai. They thrive best in warm weather, which is why they’re abundant in both India and the state of Texas.

Mating & reproduction

As mentioned earlier, this deer species has no specific breeding season. Axis deer are practically always in a rut.

Once males reach sexual maturity, they will fight with other males to establish dominance. Axis are polygynous, and the strongest male with the hardest antlers will collect several females to mate with.

The gestation period for does is around seven and a half months (210-225 days), in which they’ll give birth to one or two fawns.

Hunting opportunities

Hunted primarily for their large antlers and meat, the axis is available to hunt in both Texas and Hawaii. Texas is the best place for hunters, offering private and free-range hunting opportunities with a large population that can be hunted year-round.

Free-range hunting will only require a permit, while private hunting may require permission, permits, and fees.

However, axis deer hunting is not easy, whether you’re going for trophy bucks or even the does.


9. Sika Deer

  • Scientific name: Cervus nippon
  • Shoulder height: 2-3.6 feet
  • Weight: 90 lbs (Males); 70 lbs (Females)

Just like the Axis Deer, the Sika Deer is a non-native species to the US and also shares the name of ‘Spotted Deer.’

This deer species, also known as the Japanese Deer, is native to Japan and other parts of East Asia but can be found in the state of Texas, Virginia, and Maryland’s eastern shore.

Physical characteristics

Sika deer have a similar spotted pelage to Axis and Fallow Deer but are darker. Their coats are reddish-brown with a dark dorsal stripe surrounded by white spots in summer, while they become a dark gray or black with less distinct spots in winter.

Sika deer have dense, short bodies with delicate legs. The stags are especially impressive in this deer species, growing large, stout antlers and a thick mane during the rut.

Unique behavior & habits

Generally, sika deer are crepuscular in their movement patterns, foraging at dawn and grazing under the cover of darkness.

During fall and winter, stags will remain solitary before forming bachelor groups during late spring and summer. With the exception of the breeding season, males and females typically remain segregated. Hinds will form small groups of two or three with their fawns.

This deer species is known for its repertoire of calls. They have a wide variety of vocalizations that are used in different situations, from groaning to clacking noises, whistles and screams.

Preferred habitat

Their preferred habitat is mostly deciduous or mixed woodlands, especially those with a dense understory of vegetation. This type of habitat provides a good variety of food to ruminate on.

However, sika deer can also be found in other, including marshes and thickly forested wetlands. They’ve also established a population concentration in southern Dorchester County in Maryland.

Hinds typically have a home range of about one square mile, while stags will range much farther.

Mating & reproduction

The rut occurs from late September to November. At the start of mating season, sika move to traditional rutting grounds as the environment strongly influences mating strategy.

Sparring between males is typically highly ritualized, defending their rutting territory and fighting for female access. Much like other types of deer, sika are polygynous and may also switch to harem-holding when a group of hinds has been assembled.

Hinds will have a gestation period of seven and a half months (224 days), after which a single calf is born in early May or late June.

Hunting opportunities

Sika deer are recognized as a particularly prized game species on the eastern shore, and hunters travel from many surrounding states during the fall hunting season.

Hunting opportunities are high in Texas and Maryland, with bow and rifle hunters alike pursuing the sika.

The stags make excellent trophies, and although the venison is not as common as other species, it is often used in culinary delicacies.


10. Coues Deer

  • Scientific name: Odocoileus virginianus couesi
  • Shoulder height: 2.5 feet
  • Weight: 100 lbs (Males); 60 lbs (Females)

Coues deer are a subspecies of the well-known American whitetail. They’re native to the Southern parts of Arizona, with the highest densities in the southern parts of the state, stretching into New Mexico.

Compared with other types of deer in the US, Coues deer are the smallest except for the Florida Keys deer.

“Cows” is technically the proper pronunciation of this deer’s name, though most who hunt them pronounce it “cooz.”

Physical characteristics

The Coues is an elfin deer that sports ears and tails that appear out of proportion to their small bodies. Their pelage is lighter in color than other deer species as a light slate gray, which allows them to blend in with their habitat and evade predators. Coues deer also have a distinctive white ‘halo’ around the eyes and muzzle.

They have slight similarities to the whitetail, including their white-spotted fur and white undersides. During warmer months, they shed their grayish coats for a more reddish-brown pelage.

Unique behavior & habits

Coues bucks tend to be solitary and territorial. They are less likely to be in herds than other species.

Much like other types of deer on this list, Coues are crepuscular, feeding predominantly during the dark hours of twilight and night, then finding a shady spot to bed for the day.

This deer is frequently referred to as the “Grey Ghost” due to its reputation for being able to vanish from view in the smallest amount of cover.

Preferred habitat

Coues deer are commonly found in desert-dry environments and can survive high temperatures for long periods without standing water, instead retaining moisture from the vegetation they ingest.

They are able to thrive in harsh terrain environments but more often seek pockets of shade or shaded vegetation areas when temperatures rise.

Mating & reproduction

Rutting season for the Coues deer typically begins in mid-December, sometimes extending to February with other herds.

Sparring matches between males are considered very mild and short-lived. Males are also careless during this time, spending more time active during the day trying to find a female to mate with.

The gestation period is approximately seven months (200 days), with a female deer giving birth to one or two fawns.

Hunting opportunities

Hunting opportunities for this species are plentiful in Arizona and New Mexico. These are mainly public land hunts available to almost everyone. Arizona rifles and all New Mexico tags are won only after submitting early applications and being drawn via a lottery system.


Frequently Asked Questions

What types of deer are non-native to North America?

Hunters will find many non-native types of deer throughout North America. Apart from the ones mentioned above, the US also has Barasingha Deer (also known as the Swamp Deer), Hog Deer, Indian Muntjac Deer, and Chinese Water Deer, most of which can be hunted in Texas and Hawaii.

What are other types of deer to hunt in the United States?

Hunters are not limited to the deer mentioned above, although they are the most popular. There is also the California Marsh Deer and the prized Barasingha Deer, which can be hunted in Texas.



The comprehensive information and facts in this guide will expand your knowledge so you can recognize and appreciate the various types of deer found across the United States.

From the giant Moose and proud Elk to the diminutive Coues and American Whitetail, the characteristics, habits, and physical appearance of each species is fascinating,

If you’re a passionate deer hunter looking to learn the tricks of the trade about deer communication, you can find out more about deer call sounds! Once you can distinguish the calls of fallow deer, hog deer, marsh deer, and barking deer, your hunting will improve in no time at all.

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Jack Simons

Jack is a retired policeman who loves spending his free time around weapons and hunting across the state of Colorado with friends. His goal is to help newcomers find their way into the world of guns & hunting as well as review all the current best products and accessories for bow and rifle hunting.

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