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banditt007
January 10, 2009, 12:33 AM
I'm from the north east and i keep hearing about these really small deer in florida (possibly some surrounding states?) anyway these are white tail deer correct? whats the reason for their size... i would have thought..like the fresh water fish..since the climate is so mild they would grow the biggest and not have a severe lack of food come winter. whats considered an average size? b/c i hear people speak of them as if they are dog sized!??? if anyone has any pictures to share that would be great.

dirty magazine
January 10, 2009, 12:39 AM
I think they are Key deer and I saw one on the road while driving through the Keys- I thought it was a fawn, but it was an adult. I think they are a protected species.

As far as their size, I noticed that the Key limes were tiny too, compared to regular limes. Maybe everything is smaller there to evade the crocs?

Swampghost
January 10, 2009, 01:06 AM
Yep, our deer are small and it is because of a number of factors mostly heat, water and food are not a problem in most areas. Key Deer are a sub-species and not worth going after. Ate a road kill many years ago good for stew meat maybe.

On the other hand my 'biggie' was a 6 point with heavy beams that came out of Big Cypress. We don't have a lot of time to fool around down here, the general consensus was that it was about 180#s. Pretty big for here.

bswiv
January 10, 2009, 05:27 AM
Here in NE Fl the average mature buck will run around 120-140 pounds. We do get a fine one pushing 200 every now and again, usually from private land with enhansments.

The closer you get to the coast, and especially on the barrier islands like Sapalo, Ossabaw and Cumberland off of SE GA, they will be smaller. From what I understand they are smaller simply because it's not necessary biologically for them to be bigger.

We do not have winter die offs and even when we have sever drought there is plenty of water for them. On top of that if you look at a soil survery, at least here in NE FL you will notice that there is a lot of land that rates marginal at best as far as the quality of the food produced for the deer.

There is plenty of it in most places it's just not the best quality stuff.

Finally there is the issue of fat. What you will find is that of a 120 pound deer there will be almost ZERO fat. Unless of course someone has been corning them........ You might find that if you subtract the FAT component of your larger deer and focus on only meat yeild that the disparity, while still evident and real, may not be as great as you think.

Rembrandt
January 10, 2009, 07:32 AM
....Here in NE Fl the average mature buck will run around 120-140 pounds. We do get a fine one pushing 200 every now and again............. You might find that if you subtract the FAT component of your larger deer and focus on only meat yeild that the disparity, while still evident and real, may not be as great as you think.

If that theory were true then Northern deer would be packing 150 lbs of fat. Fruit and crops may be larger in the south due to climate but in wildlife it's the exact opposite. The further north you go the larger the species. Years of harsh weather has left only the fittest of the gene pool to survive. We frequently see bucks that will run 300-350 lbs and nearing 400 lbs, it's not half fat.

Moose is a prime example of species getting larger the further north you go. In North America the Shiras is the smallest (800-1000 lbs), Canadian gets bigger, and the Alaskan/Yukon (1500 lbs) is the giant of the species. This phenomena holds true with all species.

bswiv
January 10, 2009, 10:07 AM
Don't think I suggested anything so crazy as "150 pounds" of fat. Deer here are smaller but you WILL find that the meat to fat ratio is much higher with our skinny animals than with a grain fed specimen from further north. It is not at all unusual, actually more the norm, to find that there is ZERO fat on deer from our WMAs that do not get corn or the like.

What you'll find in general is that our deer are 1/3 smaller than deer from colder climates with better food.

With all that said, one need only travel a few hours north and west, that would be west-central Georgia, to find lots of 200 pound plus specimens.

Seems that the real concentrations of small deer is in the coastal plain and in almost all of the Florida peninsula.

Tommy Vercetti
January 10, 2009, 10:14 AM
I see nothing but small deer in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida

guys around here brag about 160 pound bucks :rolleyes:

cornbush
January 10, 2009, 11:28 AM
Part of the reason for smaller body size is heat. It is harder to cool a big body than a small one. They have evolved that way over time because in that habitat and climate it is what works. Here in Utah we get deer that tip the scales over 300 pounds sometimes, the massive bodies are to keep more heat in during the winter months, the fat reserves help supplament their diet too.

cracker31
January 10, 2009, 11:30 AM
It is true that whitetails in FL are smaller than those up north. We're aren't going to see 300-350# bucks ever, but neither most states. I have seen and shot many bucks in FL that will rival most of the mature bucks in GA, AL, MS, & TX when it comes to body size. But body size is not the real issue for most of us, our problem is that even on land that is managed for trophy bucks most of the big ones are going to be in the 120-130 class. There are exceptions to this but in general we don't have the big racks. Dog sized deer in WMA's don't count because you can't get into the places where the big ones live and every redneck for five counties is in there killing every legal deer they see.

texfar
January 10, 2009, 11:41 AM
Dog sized is what you will commonly see in parts of the Texas Hill county....and I mean dog sized. Where I live and hunt them, they average 100 and up. Doe at 90-100 lbs can be 3 years old. It is not all of them. I think that around where I live it is dependent on the season. Three years ago, when we had a wet year and food was abundant, they were huge for Hill Country deer.


http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/texfar/th_IMG_2428.jpg (http://s275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/texfar/?action=view&current=IMG_2428.jpg)

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/texfar/th_IMG_2423.jpg (http://s275.photobucket.com/albums/jj308/texfar/?action=view&current=IMG_2423.jpg)

These were a couple of pretty big boys were I live.
Ken

SavageSniper
January 11, 2009, 08:44 PM
I am a huge believer in the "Gene Theory". Where I hunt in north FL (Madison) we have two very distinctly different deer, all on the same property that I hunt. The average buck will be from 110 to 135ish. We call these swamp deer. They are light in color. Then we have these other deer that are very dark in color, will have black down their backs and some on their legs. I have killed several in the 200 to 237 (Weighed)class. For as long as I can remember the old timers say they had mule deer in them. I know that is not the case but they are as different as a mule deer and a white tail looking at them side by side. One of the old timers told me that these deer come from around the river. May be some truth to that. If you have ever seen a north FL river, they have some steep banks of limestone. More minerals?

Trapp
January 11, 2009, 08:48 PM
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=40867&stc=1&d=1231724635
This is my first deer this year. That is the back of my jeep........Very small button buck

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=40868&stc=1&d=1231724635
This is a 7pt I arrowed last year. First ever bow buck

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=40869&stc=1&d=1231724635
This is a Spike I shot late last year.

As you can see they are all pretty small. Mind you, I am 6' 225lbs....

Trapp
January 11, 2009, 08:58 PM
http://www.floridaconservation.org/hunting/docs/DeerManagementPlan2008-2018.pdf

This link gives a little background about florida deer. They are in fact a different subspecies. Poor habitat, and weather have a lot to do there size as well.

Art Eatman
January 11, 2009, 09:31 PM
Realizing there's no One size fits all in this, but generalizing: As you go north in the U.S., animals of various species tend to be larger in size. Maine whitetails are a heckuva lot larger, on average, than southern whitetails, on average. Same for black bear and mule deer. Same for coyotes.

Some sub-species of whitetail deer are just genertically smaller: The Key deer of Florida, the Del Carmen whitetail of the Texas Big Bend, and the Coues of Arizona.

Over the last forty-five years, the average size of the whitetail deer in central Texas has declined due to over-loading of the habitat's food supply. A population larger than the carrying capacity of the land. (Ranches turned into ranchettes, owned by non- and anti-hunters, as a large part of the problem.)

kingudaroad
January 12, 2009, 11:41 AM
One unique thing about Texas is the dog sized deer in the Central Texas hill country, and the much larger South Texas whitetails about 150 miles south.
It certainly isn't the heat.

deanadell
January 12, 2009, 02:03 PM
http://www.kerrlake.com/deer/white.htm



Sub-Species:

Taxonomy is the classification of living things.I want go into the complex description of Taxonomy but I will discribe the Virginia Whitetail (Odocoileus Virginanus) , it's sub-species and where they range.

1. The Virginia whitetail, Odocoileus virginianus virginianus, is the prototype of all whitetail deer. Its range includes Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. This is a moderately large deer with fairly heavy antlers. It is hunted in all of the states it inhabits, and each state has a good deer population. It has a widely diversified habitat, varying from coastal marshes, swamplands, and pinelands to the "balds" atop the Great Smokey Mountains.

2. The northern woodland whitetail,Odocoileus virginianus borealis, is the largest and generally the darkest in coloration. It also has the largest range, being found in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, and a portion,of Manitoba. More whitetails of this subspecies are hunted than any other. Some 541,000 deer were legally taken from the region of the borealis subspecies in 1974. This area has also produced half a dozen of the top twenty record whitetail heads listed in the Boone and Crockett Club's official records book, North American Big Game. Including the long standing record harvested by Jim Jordan in Wisconsin.

3. The Dakota whitetail,Odocoileus virginianus docotensis, is another very large deer, about equaling the northern whitetail in weight . This subspecies has produced even more of the high-ranking trophy heads than the borealis race. The range covers North Dakota, South Dakota, and parts of Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Montana, @ and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Dakota bucks have heavy, fairly widespread antlers. The winter coat is a little paler than that of borealis. This is a deer of the breaks. Its home is in the timbered coulees, gullies, draws, and river and stream bottoms that cut through the prairies.

4. The Northwest whitetail, Odocoileus virginianus ochrourus, is also a large deer. It inhabits parts of Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. The biggest whitetail I ever saw was in Glacier National Park. It could have been either this subspecies or a Dakota. The two races intergrade in that area. This subspecies has very widespread antlers and a winter coat of relatively pale cinnamon-brown.

5. The range of the Columbian whitetail,Odocoileus virginianus leucurus, has been so greatly reduced that most of these deer are now found only on th 'e Federal Columbian White-tailed Deer Refuge, on the Columbian River near Cathiamet, Washington. The subspecies formerly ranged along the Pacific coast in Washington and Oregon, spreading eastward to intergrade with the Northwest whitetail. The Columbian whitetail is not hunted as it is now on the endangered-animal list.

6. The Coues, or Arizona whitetail, Odocoileus virginianus couesi, is a small variety. At one time it was thought to be a distinct species but more recent research has relegated it to the status of subspecies. It has larger ears and tail in relation to its body size than most whitetails, This deer is found in the dry, desert regions of southeastern California, southern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and on down into Old Mexico. The Coues is apparently isolated from areas where it could intergrade with the Texas whitetail but in the southern part of its range it probably intergrades with several Mexican subspecies. Even in Arizona the Coues whitetails are more or less isolated in the mountainous areas that rise above the desert, such as the Chiricahua and Huachuca Mountains. Arizona estimates it has about 25,000 Coues deer but does not give any harvest figures. New Mexico has a hunting season for this deer but gives neither a population estimate nor the hunter's take. The Coues deer has its own classification in the Boone and Crockett Club, dating back to when it was considered a distinct species. From the hunter's point of view, the separate classification remains legitimate since the little Coues deer has a light "rack," or antlers. A trophy that is outstanding by Coues standards could hardly compete with a trophy northern or Dakota whitetail.

7. The Texas whitetail, Odocoileus virginianus texanus, is found in western Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, southeastern Colorado, eastern New Mexico, and the northern portion of Old Mexico. Everything about Texas is big, even its population of whitetail deer. Texas has four whitetail subspecies, of which the most abundant is the Texas whitetail. Its body is much smaller than that of the more northerly deer but it is the largest of the southern forms. The antlers are slender but widespread and there are several record heads among the top twenty-five.

8. The Carmen Mountains whitetail, Odocoileus virginianus corminis, is a small deer found in the Big Bend region of Texas. Its range is limited to the Carmen Mountains on both sides of the Rio Grande. Not many of these deer are hunted because most of their range falls within the boundaries of Big Bend National Park, where hunting is prohibited. Here is a good example of isolation. A buffer strip of semi-desert, inhabited by mule deer, separates this subspecies from the Texas whitetail and prevents intergrading.

9.The range of the Avery Island whitetail,Odocoileus virginianus mcilhennyi, stretches along the Gulf Coast in Texas and Louisiana. This is the deer of the Texas Big Thicket Country. It is a large one with a dark, brownish winter coat, and it intergrades with the whitetail subspecies found to the west, north and east.

10. The Kansas whitetail,Odocoileus virginianus macrourus, is the fourth subspecies occurring in Texas. Found in eastern Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana, it is a large deer with heavy main antler beams and short tines. Several deer of this type are listed among the top 25 heads.

11. The Bull's Island whitetail,Odocoileus virginianus tourinsulae, is an isolated and very limited race of whitetail deer, found only on Bull's Island, South Carolina.

12. The Hunting Island whitetail,Odocoileus virginianus venotorius, is another of South Carolina's minor variations, found only on Hunting Island.

13. The Hilton Head Island whitetail,Odocoileus virginianus hiltonensis, is still another South Carolinian variation, limited to Hilton Head Island.

14. The Blackbeard Island whitetail,Odocoileus virginianus nigribarbis, is found only on the Georgian Islands of Blackbeard and Sapelo' All of those last four subspecies are medium-sized deer with fairly small antlers that are heavily ridged or wrinkled at the base. The islands they inhabit are far enough out in the ocean to prevent intergrading with mainland subspecies or with one another. I believe that hunting is currently allowed on all of these islands.

15. The Florida whitetail,Odocoileus virginianus seminolus, is a good-sized deer with a good rack. Some have antlers as impressive as the borealis though the spread is not as wide. The race is the deer of the Everglades.

16. The Florida coastal whitetail,Odocoileus virginianus osceola, is found in the Florida panhandle, southern Alabama, and Mississippi. It is not as large as the Florida or the Virginia whitetail but it intergrades with both.

17. The Florida Key deer, Odocoileus virginianus clovium, is the smallest of our native deer. No hunting is allowed for this subspecies, which is on the endangered-animal list. By 1949, the Key deer population had plummeted to an all-time low of thirty individuals. This reduction was brought about mainly by habitat destruction, fires, hurricanes, automobile kills, and hunting. The Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1953. With the protection thus provided, the deer population has crept back up to about three hundred. Today the automobile is the number-one killer, as the highway linking the Florida Keys passes through the center of the range.

Waterengineer
January 12, 2009, 02:27 PM
Deanadell:

If you could do the same for mulies too (executive summary of sub-species) that would be appreciated.

Thanks.

bswiv
January 12, 2009, 03:46 PM
deanadell should get some king of forum award for going through the effort to post such a through answer to the question!

I may be making a assumption here but if you're a bilogist can you give us some idea of what effect the available habitat, soil qualities and the like may have on the different species?

One of the maps I've got of the areas we hunt has a soils survey attached. What is striking is that none of it rates better than fair for deer.

deanadell
January 12, 2009, 03:48 PM
Nothing but a Google Search......I copied the link at the top of the post so as not to plagarize.......

deanadell
January 12, 2009, 03:51 PM
Mulies......

http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/animals/mammal/odhe/all.html

More technical than the info found for the whitetails.....

Mule deer subspecies and ranges
Common name (scientific name)
Range


Rocky Mountain mule deer
Southwestern Saskatchewan west through southern Alberta and British
(Odocoileus hemionus hemionus)
Columbia, extending south throughout WA, OR, ND, SD, KS, NE, MT, WY, CO,
UT, and ID, and into northeast CA, sections of NV, AZ, NM, TX, OK, and northern
Mexico


Desert mule deer (O. h. crooki)
Semi-arid areas of CA, NV, AZ, NM, TX, and northern Mexico.
California mule deer
Ranging throughout CA, but particularly common in High Sierra
(O. h. californicus)


Southern mule deer (O. h. fuliginatus)
Ranging from northern Baja CA into southwestern CA.
Black-tailed deer (Columbian)
Wet-forest coastal areas of WA, OR, and southern British Columbia, and relative-
(O. h. colubianus)
ly common throughout CA


Black-tailed deer (Sitka)
Southeast AK, Yukon, and the north coast of British Columbia
(O. h. sitkensis)


Reproduction
Mule deer breeding season (commonly referred to as the rut) varies considerably from region to region.
The rut typically begins in the fall and extends through mid-winter, peaking in December or January. Antler growth begins as soon as the old antlers have been shed (late January through early March), with full development completed by the end of August. With their antlers fully developed in the fall, males of reproductive age begin to form competitive dominance
hierarchies for access to reproductive females. Once accepted by a female in estrus, a dominant buck will tend the doe until mating is completed or the buck is displaced by another male. Mule deer bucks are serially polygynous, that is, they will mate with any female willing to accept them.
Male dominance is largely a function of both body size and correlated antler size, with the largest males performing the majority of mating. Mule deer does remain
in estrus for about 24 hours and continue to cycle
approximately every 28 days if they do not mate successfully. Mule deer, both male and female, generally
do not reach sexual maturity until approximately
1.5 years of age. Does rarely breed during their first year and average less than one fawn per doe during their second fawning season, becoming more productive
at 3 years or older. Does will frequently produce twins when habitat conditions are favorable. The majority
of reproductive-age females breed in any given year, although reproductive success is highly dependent
on habitat conditions. 2

Yithian
January 12, 2009, 07:07 PM
This thread reminds me of the tiny deer that inhabit the hills east of the Napa valley in Cali. Normal height at the shoulder was 2 feet. I have no idea what kind of deer they were.
For reference, I was at Lake Berryessa, opposing the dam.
Cute little buggers.

BradF
January 12, 2009, 08:27 PM
Google, Bergmann's rule. That should answer your question. Even deer within the same subspecies grow larger in northern areas of their range than they do in southern areas.

Art Eatman
January 12, 2009, 11:39 PM
West of the Pecos and south of US Hwy 90, it's a rare desert mule deer that will dress out above 200 pounds. "Biggies" tend toward 150 to 175. As far as antler growth and rut, I have one picture of two nice bucks with full antlers in place: Easy date to remember; April 15th. I've seen bucks in full velvet at Labor Day, not yet doing any rubbing.

I mentioned carrying capacity, earlier. When I first moved back to the old family ranch outside of Austin in 1967, I went spotlighting around the pasture one night. I counted over fifty pairs of eyes in one pasture. Way too many deer for the carrying capacity of the habitat. Small, runty things. Mature spikes, scraggle-horn bucks. I went on a serious culling campaign that Parks & Wildlife would have jailed me for. After some three to four years, the average body weight was up by some 30%, and the bucks had decent racks.

Almost ten years later, the Parks & Wildlife folks were proud to announce the success of their management program at Kerrville, controlling deer numbers for the carrying capacity of the habitat.

Q: What made me so smart? A: Paddling along behind my grandfather as a kid, listening to what he had to say about how many animals that the land could support. :D

Waterengineer
January 13, 2009, 04:50 AM
deanadell:

Thanks a ton for the great posts. That kind of effort from its membership is what TFL great! Oh, and thanks for responding with the Mulie info.

aquarius323@embarqma
January 13, 2009, 07:02 PM
When you double the surface you triple the volume of anything. Which is why animals get bigger the farther from the equator i.e. heat retention. It is also why one cell organisms can't get as big as the blob (can't absorb enough to support the big body)

nosualc
January 13, 2009, 07:20 PM
cornbush, bradf and aquarius nailed it,

In most mammals, nature selects for larger individuals in cold climates, and smaller individuals in warmer climates. It's all about retaining heat where it's cold or shedding heat where it's hot.

-nosualc

Rembrandt
January 13, 2009, 08:57 PM
....When you double the surface you triple the volume of anything. Which is why animals get bigger the farther from the equator i.e. heat retention. It is also why one cell organisms can't get as big as the blob (can't absorb enough to support the big body)

...In most mammals, nature selects for larger individuals in cold climates, and smaller individuals in warmer climates. It's all about retaining heat where it's cold or shedding heat where it's hot.

How do you explain the size of African Plains animals such as Elephants, Rhino, Hippo, Kudu, Eland, Cape Buffalo, Water Buffalo, big cats, etc?

Trapp
January 13, 2009, 09:23 PM
This thread is kinda funny. The OP wanted to know why Florida deer were smaller and wanted some pics....

Now we have Darwin theorists proclaiming to have the be all end all size equation after scientific data posted by Deanadell and my self show that it merely subspecies, nutrition and habitat that make them smaller.

BIOLOGY OF DEER IN FLORIDA
There are four subspecies of white-tailed deer in Florida: The Florida coastal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus osceola) in the panhandle, the Florida white-tailed deer (O. v. seminolus) in peninsular Florida, the Virginia white-tailed deer (O. v. virginianus) in the extreme northeast and the endangered Florida Key deer (O. v. clavium) in the Florida Keys. Variations in size and antler characteristics of deer in Florida are governed largely by factors of soil fertility, vegetation, climate, topography, geographic location, and genetics (Harlow and Jones 1965, Harlow 1972, Shea et al. 1992a, Vanderhoof 1992, McCown et al. 1995). The effects of these factors are reflected in the physical differences in deer of the same sex and age from separate locations in Florida (Harlow and Jones 1965).

Morphology
Adult male white-tailed deer in Florida weigh on average 125 pounds and stand approximately 36 inches tall at the shoulder. Female deer are smaller, averaging about 95 pounds and 32 inches in height. Deer in Florida are considerably smaller than those in most other states. There is also substantial variation in body size among deer within Florida. The largest animals occur in the Panhandle and the smallest in southern Florida.
Antler characteristics of deer also differ, depending on age, nutrition and genetics. Nutrition plays an important role in antler development, particularly the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium in the forage. Different habitats provide different amounts of nutrients; therefore, habitat type and quality can influence antler characteristics. Deer in central Florida sand pine-scrub oak and flatwoods communities had the smallest beam diameter and highest percentage of spikes in yearling bucks (Harlow and Jones 1965). In northwest Florida flatwoods, poor antler development of yearling bucks also appears to be related to the late fawning period (Shea et al. 1992a).



What is really interesting is the harvest data:

5 year average harvest for MS, AL and GA being close to 400,000 while Florida was only 100,000

hogdogs
January 13, 2009, 09:59 PM
Harvest data is no surprise... Few hunters overall per capita, and of those, many travel to the states mentioned with higher numbers to hunt bigger animals in cooler temps. Florida has really suffered a big hit in hunter numbers with the encroachment of urban life and those that seek it. It also has put a big pinch in the amount of hunting acreage over the last 25-30 years...
Brent

globemaster3
January 13, 2009, 11:24 PM
Florida has really suffered a big hit in hunter numbers with the encroachment of urban life and those that seek it.

That and IMHO, the mismanagement of the WMAs. Unlimited tags for deer with no effort to supplement or or improve the herd size or health.

I used to hunt with a very responsible group in the Bull Creek WMA, but they all got run off after I left by miscreants creating havoc a couple seasons in a row. Who wants to go out there if your vehicle gets shot up, all of your tree stands get stolen, or your archery-shot deer gets stolen before you can trail it! And that was walking to the SE corner of the WMA, approx 45 mins!

But back to topic, to add to what's already been said, the FL deer in the central-southern region are smaller than their northern cousins. I've hunted deer in FL, Northern AL, NJ (my best archery hunting experience by far), WA State, TX, and OK. WA was the biggest. NJ the most plentiful. TX the most fun (the people are so nice). And AL was just cold. Cold and wet...:)

Jseime
January 23, 2009, 07:33 PM
I feel so sorry for you guys... I am from an area the produces HUGE deer with big racks. I would imagine that the fawns from that spring that some of the local yokels shoot are as big as your Texas and Florida deer. Mule deer bucks with 6 points a side are not terribly uncommon and boy do they get big bodies on them... my .270 does the trick, first time every time.

Buzzcook
January 25, 2009, 04:09 PM
Just a note on Deanadell's post about Mule deer. There is some controversy as to whether the Columbian Blacktail deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) is a sub-species of the Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus). Some people argue that the Black Tail is a species in its own right and even that it is the ancestor (Clade?) of the Mule deer.

They are a relatively small species with an average weight of about #140 and the record in the low 180 range. In their case habitat (dense rain forest) trumps latitude.

deanadell
January 25, 2009, 06:52 PM
I feel so sorry for you guys... I am from an area the produces HUGE deer with big racks.

we make up for it in bag-limit :D

Dirty Bill
January 25, 2009, 07:17 PM
In a nutshell,the hotter the climate,the smaller the body of the white tail. Texas has some huge racked bucks,but not a large body weight,for example. La Rue's book on white tails is a good source of information.:)

guns and more
January 25, 2009, 10:03 PM
Key deer are found on, strangely enough, Deer Key in the Florida keys. They are protected, but if you ever drive down there, they wander out in the road (because people feed them) and often get killed. They may reach 3' high, but that would be a big one.
Other than that, the white tail deer found in Florida seem full size to me.

hogdogs
January 25, 2009, 10:59 PM
Strangely enuff, I have seen key deer on only 2 islands and deer key ain't one of them... Big Pine and No Name key are the 2 where the key deer is commonly seen. As for our white tails... they may not be huge but plenty of meat to be had for sure!
The key deer refuge is the 2 islands listed above...
Brent

surfersami
February 4, 2009, 08:40 AM
Like everything else in FL, if you're not slim, trim and sexy you are nothing. A big fat un-tanned deer in FL sticks out like a sore thumb, and know it wouldn't be a FL deer, would me it was a Yankee deer! That said it wouldn't stand a chance with the guys I know that hunt down there, so, there you have it, the reason there are no big deer in FL.:D
(By the way, I was a floridian, now transplanted to SC so don't think I was being mean pls.):D