Discover Crowsnest Pass Day 10: Fun facts about deer and ungulates

Join Uplift Adventures on a walk through the woods while we discover some facts about deer! 

  1. Deer have been around for 3 million years! That’s a long time for any species to be around for. They are very adaptive. Deer belong to the Cervidae family. In Crowsnest Pass, we have white tail deer and mule deer. 
  2. Deer often have large cone-shaped ears, and are light coloured brown. Mule deer have a tail with a black spot on the bottom. Deer rely on their hearing and smelling. They don’t really rely on their sight like us. They have 300 million olfactory sensors whereas humans have 5 million, allowing them to smell from up to 100m away.
  3. Deer have more cones than rods in their eyes, so they see better at night. This means that headlights shining at them from your car are basically stunning them. They are nocturnal/crepuscular meaning they are most active at night, dawn and dusk so you won’t see them as often during the day.
  4. Deer are active year round and don’t migrate. What do they eat in the winter? Sticks and twigs. They have four stomachs, which means they are ruminants. They chew their food, swallow it, regurgitate it, chew it some more, swallow it again and repeat. This is how they are able to digest twigs. 
  5. Deer are not horny creatures. They have antlers, not horns. Some may disagree though, since deer love to mate. Females are in heat in the fall for 5-6 days during rutting season and the male deers are very active during this time. Some won’t even sleep during mating season, they will mate with as many females as possible. 
  6. Deer shed their antlers every year. Antlers are some of the fastest growing tissues in the world. Antlers can grow up to one inch every two days.

Thanks for joining our fun facts about deer. There are so many more facts we can share with you about deer, but there’s only so much time. We invite you to come join us on a hike, backpack, outdoor course, climb or more around Crowsnest Pass, Waterton Lakes National Park, or Castle Parks. We are your local and certified professional guides in the South Canadian Rockies.

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