An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

White-tailed Deer Scraping Bark

3-3-15  deer scraping2IMG_0490During the winter, white-tailed deer browse on the twigs, buds and bark of trees. Deer have incisors in the front of their bottom jaw, but none in the front of their top jaw, just a hard palate. They grip the bark with their bottom front incisors and scrape their jaw upwards, leaving behind grooves the width of their bottom incisors. Often there are frayed ends of bark at the top end of the groove, due to the deer having to use its hard palate and incisors, rather than two sets of incisors, to separate the bark from the tree. Favorite trees include red and striped maples, oaks, poplar, pines, hemlock, arborvitae and balsam fir.

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2 responses

  1. Betsy Bobo

    Interesting.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    March 12, 2015 at 9:20 am

  2. Susan

    I had heard that deer and moose scrape bark this time of year to get minerals from the sap running in the trees.

    March 13, 2015 at 10:43 am

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