White-tailed Buck Deer / Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I photographed this White-tailed Buck deer in the Cades Cove area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Males buck deers compete for the opportunity of breeding females sparring among males determines a dominance hierarchy. Bucks will attempt to copulate with as many females as possible, losing physical condition since they rarely eat or rest during the rut. White-tailed deers communicate in many different ways using sounds, scent, body language, and marking. All white-tailed deers are capable of producing audible noises, unique to each animal. Fawns release a high-pitched squeal, known as a bleat, to call out to their mothers. A doe makes maternal grunts when searching for her bedded fawns. Grunting produces a low, guttural sound that will attract the attention of any other deer in the area. Both does and bucks snort, a sound that often signals danger. Bucks are unique in their grunt-snort-wheeze pattern that often shows aggression and hostility. Another way white-tailed deer communicate is with their white tail. When a white-tail deer is spooked it will raise its tail to warn the other deer in the area that can see it.

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