a hunter and his dog

Don’t Let The Deer Catch You Off-Guard With These Facts

Deer hunting season in Michigan usually begins in September, but some people start as early as now to prepare for the next season. If you’re new to this sport, it’s best to visit your local hunting shops for the right gear. It’s also important to understand deer behavior if you want your first hunting season to be a success.

Here are some key reminders:

Deer Don’t Sleep Like Hunters

Deer were plentiful during the 2018 hunting season. But the number isn’t the factor here. What you need is the knowledge — interesting and useful facts, that is — about deer.

For instance, deer don’t sleep the way that we do. They take cat naps. Deer are hyper-sensitive when they fall into slumber. So even if they’re “tucked in” in the woods, they’re still very much alert.

Some even jokingly say that deer are creatures that seem to sleep with their eyes wide open. Living in the wild has inflicted this behavior; their need to survive forces them, by nature, to remain on alert at all times against possible threats.

So the next time you see a deer lying down, be very precise and quick with your catch. Otherwise, you’re going to miss because even with their eyes closed, they rely on their sensory organs, mainly their ears, to guard against danger.

They Eat Constantly — and Quickly

Just like any animal, deer need food sources sufficient enough to sustain good health. But it will take about four stomachs to fully satisfy a deer and absorb the nutrients from its diet.

The four stomachs is technically a legitimate term because deer have four chambers in their stomachs. Every chamber has to do a variety of function in the digestive process.

It will seem like deer are always hungry — and in a hurry. This is because they eat so fast that it seems they’re running out of time.

But even though they eat quickly, they chew very little. These animals, however, regurgitate their food. They chew it into finer pieces and swallow it once again for complete digestion.

For Antler Growth, Deer Need More Nutrients Than They Can Consume

a stag

There’s another reason deer eat like cows: they need more nutrients. In fact, they need more than the amount that they can consume.

The nutrition absorption is for antler growth, which requires a large amount of nutrients in a short period of time. Antlers are one of the fastest growing tissues. The price that deer have to pay is growing bone from scratch.

A deer’s body deals with the process of antler growth in a complicated manner. It takes minerals and calcium away from the bones in the body only to transfer the nutrients to the antlers, which boosts the growth.

Although they eat a lot, the amount of nutrients they get is still not enough. So once the antler growth is done, osteoporosis kicks in. A deer grows some antlers, but other bones in its body suffer in return.

American hunters kill over six million deer every year, on average. By knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your target, it shouldn’t be too hard to hit the mark. But remember to be a responsible hunter; always follow the rules set by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).