Interesting Facts About South Carolina's State Animal, the White-Tailed Deer

December 2019
Written By: 
Grand Strand Magazine Staff

White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) - These shy beauties are the smallest members of the North American deer family

- Became the state animal of South Carolina in 1972.

- Coat is reddish-brown in spring and summer and turns to a gray-brown throughout the fall and winter.

- Most widely distributed wild ungulate (hooved mammal) in America.

- Only males grow antlers, which are shed each year.

- Use speed and agility to outrun predators, sprinting up to 30 miles per hour and leaping as high as 10 feet.

- Hide their fawns on the forest floor or in tall grass to keep them safe.

- Their name refers to the white underside of their tails, which are displayed when a deer is on alert. During flight, the hair is flared and held aloft like a signaling flag.

- Special four-chambered stomachs allow them to eat some things that humans cannot, such as poison ivy and certain mushrooms.