White-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus
Cervidae or Deer Family

Largest native animal in Wildwood (until someone reports a bear), weighing about as much as the humans that wander through. Coat reddish-brown in spring, duller brown in winter. Throat, belly and underside of tail pure white; white hairs also in ears. Eyes and nose black. Ears large. Males have antlers in the breeding season.

Usually timid and does not like to get too close to people, so your most common view is like the one at middle left. When alarmed it will lift its tail to warn other deer and then flee nimbly through obstacles.

They see well at night and in the day, and can be active any time they feel like it. Dawn and dusk are supposed to be the best times to see them--trail cameras set by Radford University students took the picture lower right at 6:39 pm in late October, after sunset, and the one in at lower left on a late October mid-morning. However, the pics right and center in the middle row were taken in mid-afternoon.

Native to North America east of the Rockies, and south into central and northern South America. Occasional in the Park, at any time of year.

Unmistakeable as there are no other deer in Virginia, except for an occasional elk in the rural highlands.


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