An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

White-tailed Deer Population Estimation

12-14-12 deer scat IMG_6670White-tailed deer are known to eat over 600 species of plants in North America. They consume, on average, about 5 to 8 pounds of food for every 100 pounds of body weight, per day. As a result, a deer, on average, defecates about 13 times a day. A crude but somewhat accurate way to estimate how many white-tailed deer are in your area is to count the number of scat piles you find in a square mile within 24 hours, and divide this number by 13. A little snow on the ground would make this particular method of population estimation a lot easier!

3 responses

  1. Roseanne Saalfield

    and what’s the average weight of a mature buck and a mature doe?

    December 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    • The weight of a white-tailed deer can vary significantly, but on average, in New England, does weigh around 150 lb. and bucks around 200 lb.

      December 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm

  2. Cordelia Merritt

    Hi Mary – I don’t think I’m going to go count scat, but I am grateful for the reminder of what deer scat looks like. I’d suggest some other species. We have a fisher “cat” in this area and I have no idea of its ‘production’. Good to see you if ever so briefly this holiday season. Any chance of snagging you for lunch here some time in the not too distant future? Cheers and a contented holiday to you and yours. Cordie

    December 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm

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