State Animal of South Carolina
White-Tailed Deer is The National State Animal of South Carolina. It Was Officially Adopted by the General Assembly in 1972. The white-tailed deer is the most widespread and abundant member of the deer family and one of the best recognized large mammals in North America. South Carolina State Animal White-tailed deer are a valuable component of our wildlife heritage and are avidly sought by hunters, photographers, and nature observers. The buck, or male deer, stand 3 to 3 1/2 feet tall at the shoulder, weighs 125 to 200 pounds, and grows antlers that are shed annually.
Does are smaller and lighter than males and lack antlers. South Carolina Deer live on the forest edge rather than in continuous areas of mature forest. They prefer mixed conifer-hardwood forests, shrublands, and old fields with active cropland nearby. This rich mixture of vegetation produces abundant food and cover. Male white-tailed deer grow and shed antlers annually. The antlers begin to grow in April or May. They are soft and covered with a sensitive tissue known as velvet.
By fall, the antlers harden; the deer scrape them against saplings to remove the velvet in preparation for the rut. Antlers are used in sparring during the mating season. State Animal of South Carolina Whitetail deer do not migrate to a winter range but yard up in their own territories during heavy snow. State Animal of South Carolina is notorious for continually using the same pathways when foraging, but will not bed down during the day in areas that they have used previously. Whitetail deer are generally considered solitary, especially in summer.
The basic social unit is a female and her fawns, although does have been observed to graze together in herds of up to hundreds of individuals. Females Whitetail deer generally follow their mothers for about two years, but males leave the group within the first year. Males begin rutting as early as September, and at this point become entirely preoccupied with obtaining mating.
South Carolina State Animal Whitetail deer do not guard harems but rather fight each other individually. Females Whitetail deer generally follow their mothers for about two years, but males leave the group within the first year. Males begin rutting as early as September, and at this point become entirely preoccupied with obtaining mating. South Carolina State Animal Whitetail deer do not guard harems (as with elk) but rather fight each other individually, clashing antlers to gain access to a particular female.