You are passing by a highway road, and on the way, what you see is a dead deer. This is common if you live in a state like Newyork and often hit the highways.
Seeing the poor deer lying around like that left, you are wondering how long these creatures even live. After all, they are getting hunted by humans, animals, natural cause, and if unlucky, then also by sea animals and birds.
Do deer ever die of old age?
Yes, if they are lucky enough to survive, then they could, but unfortunately, most of them don’t. Humans hunt most of the deers because in which country they are in abundance, the country derives a major economy from it.
If not hunted by humans, they are hunted by wild animals, and if not that, then they die of starvation or disease.
Both the underpopulation and overpopulation are dangerous for deers; we will discuss both thoroughly later.
What causes deer to die?
- Humans:- Most of the deers die because of human hunting (more than 40 percent die because of human hunting.) This is not only because deer is food for humans but a source of the economy too. There are clothes made and other jewelry from the horns of deers. Other than this actual deer status are sold too. They are a significant source of economy for states like Wisconsin, where they generate revenue upto 1 billion from deers. Moreover, deers also die from road accidents such as upto 65000 deers die yearly near NewYork highways.
- Starvation:- How could starvation kill deers? Arent their trees everywhere? Well, no, not in winter, when everything is covered in heavy snow. At this time, deers utilize their body fats, and in some extreme cases, they even use bone marrow.At an older age, deer become weak; hence they have less body fats to utilize due to which old deers often die in winter. According to some data, starvation kills more deers than wild animals do.
- Wild animals:- In the case of wild animals mostly, wolfs and coyotes kill them otherwise, mostly every wild animal hunts deer. Whether they are drinking water near the pond or sea, they are either eaten by an alligator or even an orca. Large snakes and even eagles also hunt deers.
- Disease:– Diseases like Hemorrhagic Disease and other fatal diseases like CWD are also responsible for the majority of deaths of deers.
What is deers life expectancy?
The average life of a whitetail deer is from 7 to 14 years in a sheltered environment with food and everything. In the wild, they don’t make that far; they usually die before even getting to 7 years, significantly due to the reasons discussed above.
If they could survive for more extended periods then, this could cause overpopulation of deers as a new batch of deers are born every season and in such numbers, which are enough to fulfill the desire of every hunter. So deers surviving only till those years is not a bad thing although underpopulation could be, (see FAQs for more information.)
What is the oldest whitetail deer ever killed?
The oldest whitetail deer ever killed was 19 years old by the report of Matson’s lab till 2010. While the oldest mule deer killed was 20 years, and the black-tailed one was 22 years. Again all report from Matson’s lab who had been aging mammals for decades.
What percentage of wildlife animals die of old age?
Determining the percentage of wildlife on such a vast scale is nearly impossible; however, let’s consider till forest only. Deers are usually the pray and not predators, so they don’t survive till old age. There is this saying that no animals in the wildlife die of old age. And it is true to a more significant extent because when factors like starvation, disease, and fights with other animals are there, then it is tough to die a peaceful death due to age.
Do deer die if most of their antlers are snapped off?
It depends upon the time when the antlers are snapped off. Antler breaking is not a common thing in deers, but It happens in fights and stuff. They can, in fact, grow back their antlers in one season.
But if the antlers are in a growing process covered in velvet, then breaking those would cause severe blood loss and could potentially lead to death. Breaking those forcefully would be a fierce thing to do until and unless they break naturally. Fully grown antlers could break easily by getting stuck or hitting any other stuff. Then the deer would naturally remove the remaining and grow new ones before the next season
How can a deer be shot in the chest and still manage to run so far before dying?
If you hunt often, then you might come across a time where you shoot a deer, and it still manages to run a few kilometers before dying. There could be many reasons behind it, like the speed of your bullet. Maybe it was fast enough to pierce the deer’s chest significantly. Or perhaps the shape of your bullet was not right to be used for hunting.
The other reason could be with your accuracy, which makes the deer wounded but is not accurately struck on a sensitive part to make it die quickly. Instead, the deers run and bleed out to die. Another reason could be ‘Adrenaline,’ a last fast metabolism inside the deer’s body, which gives it the power to run a few miles.
How far can a deer run after being shot in the heart?
The distance covered by a deer after being shot, again depends upon the situation. A powerful rifle with reasonable accuracy to the heart will take the deer down before it even covers few yards. However, if the gun is a smaller caliber, then the deer will run some considerable yards. Or even worst, if an arrow and a little inaccurate shot it, then the deer will probably run away far from your sight.
Anyhow a deer cover an average of 100 yards after being shot in chest, lungs, or directly into the heart.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are deer so important?
Deers play a vital role in the ecosystem. The fact that they are herbivores makes them a link between plants and animals, which is a very important part. See plants would always be there flourishing, So the deers take nutrients from that and provide it to the top of the chain, to the carnivores.
Moreover, as said above, they are an essential source of income for many people. Many people live near the wood and deer for them are not only a source of income but their source of food too.
What happens if the deers are hunted without regulation?
The rules and regulations are always necessary because if not regulated, the greedy people could extinct these species before no time. For example, in the 1900s, people in the United States hunted white tailed deers to such an extent that they nearly went to extinction but was saved by regulation introduced in the 1900s, and until 1950, these species returned to a large scale.
It is never the wolfs or the wild predators responsible for the extinction of deers but the unnecessary hunting is so that should always be looked.
What happens if deers are not hunted?
What would happen if we stop hunting deer, let the population expand, let them die of old age? The results could be very different. Overpopulation could lead the deers to cause diseases, which could be fatal, like Lyme disease.
As the population would increase, then car accidents would also become more prominent, which would be a worse case for both deers and humans. The deers also tend to destroy furniture of houses neer the wood; hence that would also be a problem for some people.
Other than these, if deers are not hunted would also damage the economy drastically, all the guns that are sold would not be bought. Moreover, all the money that states make like Minnesota from hunting would not be made. The food and antiques made from deers would not be made.
Any specie could die in old age, you never know, but unluckily in the wild none of the species die a natural death of old age. In the wild, all species tend to survive by killing another specie hence completing the cycle of ecosystems and deers, as said above, are prey and not the ones who are hunting in the wild. Every second animal in the wild mostly hunts them; prior to that, they are hunted mainly by humans every year.