Black-tailed Deer may be told from the White-tailed Deer, which occurs
in the southeastern corner of the province, by the tail, which is
all black, or brown with a black tip. There is also a pronounced white
Bucks have antlers which fork once, and each fork divides again. The
antlers of White-tailed bucks have four or five points rising from
a single horizontal branch.
There are three races of Black-tailed Deer in British Columbia. The
largest is the Mule Deer (O.h. hemionus), which is found in most of
the province. Depending on condition, bucks may weigh from 80 to 180
kilograms. On the north coast and on Haida Gwaii, the former Queen
Charlotte Islands, the smaller Sitka Deer (O. h. sitkensis) is found.
On the south coast and on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, the
Columbian Black-tailed Deer (O. h. columbianus) occurs. It, too, is
a small race. The deer found on some small islands may be very small.
Mating occurs mostly in mid-November, and one to three spotted fawns
are born in May or June. Mortality can be high with winter food shortages,
and predation by cougars. On southern Vancouver Island, with low predation
and mild winters, Black-tailed Deer are very common. They are quite
tolerant of humans, and can be serious garden pests. Highway collisions
occur regularly, and can be a real danger.