High-tailing it

We have lots of white-tailed deer around here. I got wondering once why they had these bright white tail/bum patches, seeing as they are prey and prey need to blend. So I asked a naturalist who told me it was a danger signal to the other deer in the herd.

Funny thing is … I’ve lived in the area my entire life and I NEVER connected the expression “high-tail it out of here” with white-tailed deer. But that’s where it comes from.

High-tailing it

When researching this, I read that deer herds move around spread out in the day when they can see each other, but at night, they move around in single file, each following the bright white tail ahead.

Anybody know if this is true? I see them moving around in loose clumps in the day and I think I’ve seen them moving in single file at dawn, when the light is very low. But I’ve never seen deer at night.


Filed under Nature

10 responses to “High-tailing it

  1. I have a theory, but it’s pretty crazy.

    After years of watching cottontail rabbits and whitetail deer being chased by predators, my conclusion is that it can’t be a danger sign. Maybe the deer flash it that way sometimes, but they also use their ears for that. Most of the time, the tail doesn’t go up until *after* the flight has commenced or the death chase is underway. But during that chase, the flashing of the white tail back and forth just drives the predator into an instinctual frenzy. It says “follow me!” And probably “eat me!” It’s just my stupid opinion, but I think the white tail is part of the design. It’s God’s way of telling the predator that this is the prey they’ve been designed for. Come and get it!

    For me, it also serves as an obvious message that the whole Darwinian “survival of the fittest” thing is a bunch of crap. A prey animal that reproduces quickly would be the very first species to “breed out” an obvious survival liability like a bright, yummy white tail, if the genetics really worked that way. But they don’t. It’s on purpose.


    • I think the benefit to the tail is to make it easy and quick for the others to find the pack’s flight pattern. And your point is also valid in that the predator will follow all those bright white tails, but see clearly which one is slowest, thus thinning the herd of it’s weakest members who would otherwise compete for food.

      One thing the tree hugging libtards don’t seen to get is that we hunted and civilized deer predators out of the area. If they are not hunted by us, they starve. S’funny thing … I bet the same libtards who are all “euthanize me quick, I don’t want to suffer” are the same ones who are all “awww don’t kill the pwetty deers and bunny wabbits” … (let them starve).


  2. A little OT…I was doing my post when I get this ‘comment cannot be posted’ message every time I tried to post anything.Have you ever had this problem?


  3. Ting

    I have seen deer at night, but I was so busy trying to shoo them away from eating my roses that I paid no attention to their tails. I’ll be looking for that now.