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Facts about Washington deer

• Deer are among the most familiar animals of Washington, and in many places they are the largest wildlife that people encounter.

• Deer eat a wide variety of plants, but their main food item is browse—the growing tips of trees and shrubs. In late winter and early spring, deer eat grass, clover, and other herbaceous plants. They also eat fruit, nuts, acorns, fungi, lichens, and farm and garden crops if available.

• Deer are sometimes referred to as “edge” species, meaning they thrive at the interface of openings and cover patches. This allows deer to feed in productive openings while being close to escape cover.

• Many wooded suburban environments, such as parks, greenbelts, golf courses, and roadsides, meet the needs of deer.

• Black-tailed and white-tailed deer normally reside within a ½ to 3 square-mile area; in mountainous locations, they move to lower elevations for the winter.

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