A short while after the United States’ independence in 1776, states began to adopt their own official state symbols. They were adopted by states to best represent them and their historical roots, and past and present successes. Like all other states, there are many Georgia state symbols.
Georgia’s official state mammal is the white-tailed deer, which became the official state mammal only in 2015! This was thanks to a group of elementary school students at Reese Road Leadership Academy in Muscogee County.
These deer are found in abundance all across the state, residing in both forests and coastal marshes.
They take up a reddish-brown appearance in the summer months which turns gray in the winter. The famous name of this deer was derived due to their white-striped tails. These jokers are able to run at speeds of up to 40 mph and they can also jump 9 feet in the air! Their main food sources are acorns, fruits, mushrooms, and crops like corn, alfalfa, and soybeans.
White-tailed deer typically reside in North America and Southern Canada, where they will travel to and from, passing through Central America. They can be found all across Southern Canada and the mainland of the United States. They prefer to live in open woodland but can be found along the outskirts of urban areas and farming countries in search of food.
You will often find them inhabiting areas that run along streams and rivers, woodlands, farmlands, forests, and shrub fields.
Fun Facts About the White-Tailed Deer
- Their large antlers are not for weapons to fight predators, they are used by the males to fight each other during mating season!
- The males will shed their antlers from January to March each year and then re-grow them in the spring.
- The maximum lifespan of the white-tail deer is 20 years! However, the average is only 3 years, with some occasionally making it to 10 years old.
- They search for their food during dawn and dusk.
- Their eyesight and hearing are excellent.
- They are fantastic swimmers, and they need to be too! Using their swimming abilities to evade their predators.
- Only the males grow antlers.
- These deer are the most popular large game animal in the entire nation.
Hunters are an integral to the conservation and management of white-tailed deer in North America. With that being said, remember to hunt for meat, only when you need it & make sure to respect your kill. It's a gift.