The white-tailed deer are found all through out Missouri in a variety of habitats. The common name for these deer comes from their large white tails which they will raise when the animal is alarmed or scared. Only the males have antlers which is shaped like one main beam with points projecting from this main beam. As the animal gets older the number of branches or points will increase until the age of five or six years old. Then as the animal gets older the points will gradually decrease. The antlers skin derivatives that are made entirely of bone covered with skin called velvet. These animals lack the deer coverings found on animals such as cattle. The main difference is that antlers will shed each year and horns do not. This type of deer will shed their antlers in January and February.
One of the other types of deers found in Missouri are Mule Deer, and are a close relative to the white-tailed deer. This deer gets its common name from its large and uniquely shaped ears. Their tail is narrow, brownish in color with black on the tip. The antlers are found only on the male mule,just like the white-tailed deer. The antlers points equally rather than coming from the main beam as in the white-tailed deer. These type of deers shed their antlers in February through March.
Both the white-tailed and the mule are approximately three to three and a half feet tall. The males weigh from one hundred to four hundred pounds. The females weigh from eighty to two hundred pounds. Their coloration is a blue-gray color in the winter and is a reddish color in the summer.
The amount of hunters and deer taken by them has increased but a substantial amount from the year 1944 to in recent years. Back in 1944 there were about 7,557 hunters who took home about 583 deers. This is substantially lower than the over 400,000 hunters who took over 200,000 deer in recent years. These white-tailed deer are of great economic importance to the state of Missouri. The fact is deer hunters spend in most years a total of at least one hundred million dollars on such things as equipment, food, lodging, transportation as well as other related expenses. Though there are many people who do not agree with hunting these animals there are also a lot of downfalls to not hunting. These animals can over populate an area and cause automobile accidents as well as thousands of dollars of damage to crops and vegetation.