Ask The Biologist

Bad Hair Day

Bad Hair Day

By Bob Humphrey

A whitetail’s coat doesn’t always look pretty during transition phases.

QUESTION: I was checking my trail camera while turkey scouting and noticed this photo. Does this doe’s fur look normal? – Ken P.

ANSWER: If you had sent just a regular photo it might at first seem a bit odd but I would likely still come to the same conclusion I did after seeing the date. While this deer’s fur certainly looks blotchy and unkempt, I’ve seen far worse, and it’s actually quite normal at this time of year.

As the seasons change, deer no longer need their dense winter coat of long, hollow hair, so they shed it. I often find shed deer hair just about the time I’m doing my pre-season turkey scouting. As the longer hair falls off, often in clumps, the deer can look quite messy. Once the winter hair is shed it is gradually replaced with a thinner coat of solid, reddish hair.

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Copyright 2019 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd