What’s Up on the Trail? Oh Deer!

By Professor Victor Lamoureux, Steward of the Natural Areas

As noted in our last post, white-tailed deer are one of the most common animals captured on the trail cameras. They are certainly beautiful, graceful creatures. In fact, it was watching deer with my grandfather that likely turned me onto biology. However, deer overabundance is leading to many challenges for local ecosystems. Deer are over-browsing many native species, to the point of local extermination for some plants, and this also gives invasive plant species the deer don’t like an even greater competitive advantage over native species. Current deer densities are far exceeding recommended levels and the trail cameras certainly record quite a few deer

A fawn follows its mother on the Sunrise Spur trail.

A fawn follows its mother on the Sunrise Spur trail.

Although common and overabundant, it is hard to get over the “cuteness factor” of a white-tailed deer fawn! Check out the dates on each picture and see the fawns grow up in the next four pictures.

A fawn follows its mother on the Sunrise Spur trail.

A fawn follows its mother on the Sunrise Spur trail.

Two fawns follow their mother. A doe’s first pregnancy usually results in one fawn. After that, twins are the norm although she can also have triplets.

Two fawns follow their mother. A doe’s first pregnancy usually results in one fawn. After that, twins are the norm although she can also have triplets.

Time to eat!

Time to eat!

On a foggy fall morning these two fawns follow their mother. They have lost their spots!

On a foggy fall morning these two fawns follow their mother. They have lost their spots!

Deer are eating machines. They need to eat about 8 pounds of vegetation for a hundred pounds of weight per day.

Deer are eating machines. They need to eat about 8 pounds of vegetation for a hundred pounds of weight per day.

The cameras get many deer at night as well. This deer wanted a close up!

The cameras get many deer at night as well. This deer wanted a close up!

Why are they running? We don’t know.

Why are they running? We don’t know.

You might also ask…”Where are the bucks?” We will dedicate a post to them in the near future.

If you have questions about the Natural Areas, contact Professor Lamoureux at lamoureuxvs@sunybroome.edu
For students, there are volunteer activities and independent studies available.

Here is a shot of the Steward of the Natural Areas—Victor Lamoureux of the Biology department– changing out a camera card.

Here is a shot of the Steward of the Natural Areas—Victor Lamoureux of the Biology department– changing out a camera card.