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Do Deer Get Cold?

Jenn Smith

Posted on October 16 2019

The fall temperatures are dropping, and many parts of the U.S. are already seeing snow on the ground. While we selfishly worry about ourselves, and even our pets well-being, we have to ask do wildlife, such as deer, get cold?

Like many other mammals, deer physically prepare for the winter by better insulating their bodies. In the fall, deer trade their summer hair coats for thicker, darker hairs called guard hairs. This winter coat absorbs more sunlight and traps more body heat than the summer coat, and provides an extraordinary amount of protection from the cold.

Typically, deer will seek shelter and bunker down, dropping their metabolism in half, and conserving energy. They will even try to eat their way through the fall and winter months to stay warm. They will move in on gardens in the early morning or late evening hours to avoid brisk wind gusts and go undetected by deer hunters eating higher-calorie plant food such as nuts, fruits and mushrooms. They will not turn down sweet tasting coniferous trees, such as arborvitaes, and fall veggies, too. 

Like us, deer get cold; but they know how to prepare their bodies for harsh weather.