Whitetails

Brian S

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 I had the oportunity to hunt Whitetails for the first time last fall in Connecticut. I had a buck and an either sex tag and ended up getting a doe on the last day. I believe there are a couple subspecies of whitetail can any of you easterners clue me in on which one is in Connecticut.
  I drew southern Utah, and still waiting to hear from California with any luck I'll be able to hit Connecticut again, luckily there all in different months...Brian
 



Grumpy

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A lot of people will tell you that there are a mess of different sub-speices of whitetails,but in fact there are only two.Whitetails may differ some from different latitudes say from Canada to Tennessee,but these are only geographical differences depending on feed,densities of deer and such.The two actual sub-speices are the Key Deer of Florida,and the Coues Deer of the south-west and Mexico.Now don't quote me on this,this is what I have learned over the years and believe to be true.

If anyone can enlighten me any differently,by all means.I'm always happy to learn
 

Brian S

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Hey grumpy, I've heard of those two but I was talking about their big brothers to the north. Isn't there a "Virgina whitetail" and a "Northern whitetail" are they the same just diferent latitudes. You will have to forgive my whitetail ignorance, its come by way of TNN weekend hunts. I have some extended family back there I hunt with that all took nice bucks and a real monster during the muzzleloader season. Its a real change in tactics from the local california muleys I chase. I need to pick up a treestand and practice with a couple layers of warm gear on to get the hang of it. That and sitting stil for 4 or 5 hours at a time...Brian
 

Speckmisser

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Grumpy's right, at least as far as this non-biologist knows.  

There is generally a distinction between the smaller-bodied whitetails found in the southeast, but since the majority of those came from transplanted northern herds after most of the southern deer were wiped out, they're pretty much one and the same species. Of course, you do have your biologists who like to argue over these things, so I'm sure the "real experts" wouldn't be so quick to give a definitive answer.

The reason for size differences has a lot more to do with climate than anything else.  In the heat and humidity of the southern tier, the big-bodied genotype can't survive...too much surface area.  Smaller bodies survive better in the heat.  Natural selection takes care of the rest.

This is also part of the reason for the size differences in coastal blacktails out here in the west.  The big mulies can't survive the long, hot seasons like the smaller blackies do.  
 

Grumpy

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Well put Speckmisser!
I don't know latin from hebrew,but the actual whitetail deer is "something Virginius Blah blah" to which all whitetails come from.Climate does have the big part to play and I neglected to mention that factor.

Cold,in Conneticett? *LOL* C'mon up to Kanada to see real cold when your deer hunting! I've hunted in -40°F and I've hunted in shirt sleeves here
 

Fubar

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Whats the difference in the between Whitetail, Mulies and Blacktail as far as eating? Anybody ever notice what they are eating make them taste different?                     Fubar
 

Brian S

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grump, I'm a puss when it comes to sittin still in the cold.  I turn the heater on, in the morning when I drive to work in north Long Beach. I don't think it gets below 45 F in the bleakest winter here in the south bay (southern California).
 I prefer hoofing over hill and dale after mulies keeps blood in the toes. I also have to work on my eastern lingo my cousins back there sound like they belong on the "Supranos" or the movie Goodfellas. Got to learn to taulk wit my hands ova here.. Brian
 

Speckmisser

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Fubar,

I've eaten lots of whitetail, from the north and the south, and most of the time there was some variation, which I always attributed to age, sex, and diet.  A young doe in good farm country is comparable (in my opinion) to the finest red meat money can buy.  I have yet to eat wild elk, though.

Back in NC, I used to also participate in dog drives, and found that the deer pushed by dogs seemed to taste a little stronger.  It's as if killing them under high stress maybe caught them while the muscles were full of lactic acid or something... I'm not sure.  Some folks say that's an old wives' tale, but that was my experience.  I only killed a couple of deer in front of hounds before I quit hunting that way, but I sure ate a lot of it.  Deer killed still-hunting, while they are mostly relaxed, were generally more tender and succulent.  

I've so far only killed and eaten one blacktail, but I found him comparable to whitetail. He was a fat, young forkie, and tender as could be.  I'm betting if you put a young blacktail and a young whitetail side by side on a platter, most folks would be hard pressed to tell any difference.
 

Fubar

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I have had some deer from Wyoming that were eating in an alphalfa field. They were pretty good. Alot of Calif deer have been kinda gamey. Eating a lot of sage type stuff. I like deer but a lot of people are used to beef and dont understand not everything tastes like beef. Maybe we could exchange some recipes here too. Thanx      Fubar

(Edited by Fubar at 1:00 pm on June 23, 2001)
 

shooter44

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Speckmisser,

I think it's more accurate to say that big bodies are an asset in cold weather than saying that big bodied critters can't survive in hot weather.  Large mass clearly helps prevent freezing, but there are also plenty of big bodied critters in hot climates.  Think Africa.

So my theory is that whitetails naturally run the gamut from big to small bodied.  In the north the smaller ones tend to die out in the winter.  In the south they don't.  However hunters tend to take the biggest bucks, especially where there are lots to choose from, which means the smaller ones have more chance to breed.


(Edited by shooter44 at 1:07 pm on June 23, 2001)
 

Grumpy

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Speckmisser,I know what your talking about.Deer infront of a hound are full of adrenilan and makes for the meat to taste stronger,where as the nonchalont(sp) wandering deer tastes excellent.

Up on the Island where I hunt,we have two types of deer.There are field deer and there are swamp deer.The field deer are a light brown and tend to have a short face where as the swamp deer is almost black in color and has a long face.Don't ask me why this difference occurs cause I haven't a clue except to blame it on diet.I have two deer mounted from the Island,one of each
 

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