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During the winter months they gather together into large herds of many hundreds, but in the spring these large herds begin to break up. They can be active throughout the day and the night. When they sense an approaching predator there behaviour is very distinctive, they leap away with great leaping bounds lifting their tail high so the white underside is clearly visible. They also emit a distinctive whistling alarm call. They have a number of natural predators including wolves, coyote, pumas and jaguars. They feed on grasses and woodland herbaceous plants, they are also a pest species feeding on agricultural crops.
There reproductive cycle varies depending on the geographical location at which they occur. In north eastern America the rut takes place in November, but further south where they lie in tropical conditions reproduction can occur throughout the year. Fighting between the rutting males can be fierce. There are prodigious breeders, after a 7-month gestation period normally two calves are born, but occasionally 3 can be born. The calves stay hidden for the first few days of their life, being visited regularly by their mother to be fed. When they are able to accompany their mother they remain with her as she feeds. They are weaned at 4 months of age, but do not become fully independent until they are at least a year of age.
White-tailed deer are a favourite among hunters.
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