Species Identification - Mammals

Hunting Island Deer - Odocoileus virginanus

Family: Deer


Description: Hunting Island’s white-tailed deer are smaller than most US whitetails, and have their own subspecies (Odocoileus virginianus venatorius). The breed has at least 16 subspecies genetic variations. Hunting of deer and other species was so popular on Hunting Island that the name stuck. The deer eat acorns, fruit, legumes, plant shoots, poison ivy, and mushrooms, and their diets vary by season. As a ruminant, the deer has a four-chambered stomach, like a cow, which allows it to ferment and later digest its food. Most primary predators of the white-tailed deer have been depleted, and in many places whitetails have become a nuisance.

Range: The Hunting Island subspecies is unique to Hunting Island, but whitetails are common across the continent.

Photos by Carl Berube

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