How long do deer live? – Find out deer lifespan

Ever wondered how old a deer you were tailing is? Or maybe you’ve ever thought how old the deer that comes strolling in your backyard is? Maybe not, but at a point, someone somewhere would have wondered how long do deer live. In any case, just like with humans, the length of time deer live is impacted by their overall health, diet, genetics, and environment.

In the wild, the life expectancy of a male deer may reach 6 to 8 years of age, but it’s not uncommon for them to live 10 to 15 years. Females also tend to outlive males. Meanwhile, in captivity, female deer have lived as long as 23 years and males as long as 20 years.


Because of the wide variety of factors that can affect the lifespan of both males and females, it is difficult to pinpoint a deer’s life expectancy but based on data from research studies, a wild deer’s lifespan is short by human standards. However, compared to other animals, deer can live a relatively long time—thus making this animal one of the longest-living in North America!

On a general scale, deer live to be around 12 years old. Deer like the whitetail and mule deer have a slightly shorter lifespan mostly because they are the most commonly hunted. Deer are herbivores and eat a variety of plants in the wild and rarely live longer than fifteen years. This information should give you a general overview of the life expectancy of deer and how long do deer live on average. The oldest recorded white-tailed deer was 27 years old.

As you continue in this article, you’ll get to understand the factors that affect the life expectancy of a deer and how this may be different for each deer, that is the white-tail, mule deer, male deer, and female deer.

How long does a whitetail deer live?

How long do deer live

An average whitetail deer lives about 4 to 5 years, but some have lived more than with the oldest wild white-tail deer on the record being 19.

The average wild white-tail deer lives about 4.5 years. The oldest wild deer are reported to live into the late teens, with the. The oldest wild mule deer on record was 20, and the oldest wild black-tailed deer on record is 22.

Wild deer have shorter lifespans than captive deer. We go into what plays a role in a deer’s lifespan below, as well as break down the differences by sex and species.

The average wild mule deer lives between 9 and 11 years according to the national wildlife federation.

Male deer tend to have shorter lifespans than female deer due to the need to consume more calories, behavior differences, hunting, and other reasons. They live on average about 2 years less than the average doe.

Female deer live on average about 2 years longer than male deer. When looking at various resources, this puts the average lifespan at about 6 years.

Where do white-tailed deer live?

White-tailed deer are able to adapt to a wide variety of habitats. The deer live in forests and grasslands where they receive the protection from predators that tall trees and thick brush provide. This may be considered their natural habitat because the forest is where any hunter seeking a white-tailed game will go.

But they are also found in swampland, particularly aspen groves, rocky cliff ledges, mountain tundra, desert scrub, fields, thickets, and farmlands. Their excellent sense of hearing and smell helps them to avoid danger in these areas.

Because of their adaptability to all sorts of environments, white-tailed deer do not overpopulate an area but rather spread out through different regions, which is why they seem to be everywhere.

How long do deer live

When do deer sleep?

Deer sleep in the winter and early spring when it’s cold; they stay up all night when it’s warm. Deer sleep when they are tired. After they eat they go into their “hutches”. In the autumn, there are days and nights of equal length and the deer have time to do a lot of things like eating enough food, resting, mating, and giving birth until they need to start feeding on their body’s fat reserves as the weather turns cold.

If you are wondering if deer sleep standing up, yes. They sometimes rest their head on tree trunks or shrubs when they want to get off four legs. It is said that deer sleep the most during December, January, and February.

On a cloudy day with little light deer will only doze for about 10 minutes during daylight hours but if there is more light outside they will feel awake for longer and might lengthen fully asleep sessions.

Regardless of when deer sleep, they are generally most active during the dawn and dusk hours of the day, when shadows are at their longest. The deer become most active in the evenings and mornings because that is when they can best take advantage of the abundant plants (and insects) as they are waking up or closing down for the day.

Some deer sleep in groups, but others, if they are on their own and feel safe, do not sleep altogether. Another group, called ‘crepuscular’ means they are active at dawn and dusk.

One of the reasons that deer do not sleep together is because it will make it easier for a predator to find them. However, if there is danger in the air, such as a sudden thunderstorm, deer will sleep altogether for protection.

How long do deer sleep?

Deer sleep anywhere from 4 to 20 hours a day depending on the season, the temperature, and how old they are. They sleep during the day and are most active at night. That’s why it’s so rare to have a deer cross your path in the road at noon. It is normal for deer to doze in the sun during the warmer months. This helps them preserve energy for when it’s cold and more calories need to be burned.

Some belief that deer sleep as much as humans, but the truth is they don’t. The length of time that deer sleep can vary by season and age, with young deer sleeping more than adults. But in general, deer don’t sleep nearly as long as us, and they certainly don’t have trouble functioning on less sleep.

Deer sleep only about two hours a night. They lie down for five hours total during the night and day. Although you can’t be sure why deer sleep so little, it is believed it is because deer are prey animals with poor eyesight and danger is always imminent.

Where do deer live?

Deer live in lots of habitats: fields, forests, mountains, and marshes. Deer live in the forest. Deer are some of the most adaptable animals on Earth and can live almost anywhere, from forests to mountains to deserts, which means they often live in close proximity to people.

Deer are usually found in hardwood forests and mixed deciduous forests. They sometimes live in swamps or wet prairie or grassland habitats. The most common habitat for Deer in the forest. Deer grow antlers and shed them each year. They sometimes live alone or with a mate and they’re young.

They have a good sense of smell and great hearing ability. Deer are herbivores, they eat grasses, lichens, leaves, twigs, shrubs, flowers, fruits, trees, and crops. They don’t just eat for nourishment but for entertainment as well.

Why do deer sleep in my yard?

It’s hard to find definitive evidence about why deer sleep in people’s yards, but there are many theories that attempt to explain it. One popular idea is that deer are attracted to the scent of certain plants when they first sprout in the springtime.

Another common idea is that they will wait until you have cut your lawn before they head out to eat. Of course, some scientists have proposed more logical reasons. For example, deer might be seeking food sources such as shrubbery or even pet food left outside. And then, there’s my favorite: they just love your grass, and this is where they go during their leisure time.

Other times, they really don’t have a choice but to come into your yard to spend daylight hours because it’s too bright for them to go out at night without risking being run down or killed by a predator. This is why we see them bedding down along the fence lines during daylight hours as well as at dusk and during very early morning hours.

Whatever their reason is, you should know that though deer seem wild, they really aren’t, they’re more than willing to take the time to sleep on your lawn.

How long do deer live

When are deer most active?

Deer are most active at dawn and dusk, or when it is cloudy. Some species are diurnal (awake during the day) while some are crepuscular (most active at dawn and dusk). In short, deer are most active from dusk to dawn. This can come as a surprise to many hunters and homeowners alike.

The truth is, however, that this behavior is both natural and necessary for deer in order to survive. Peaking at dawn and dusk gives the deer an edge when it comes to survival. It’s harder for predators to spot them since the light where they rest tends to be dark at night and light during the day.

As the weather cools down, deer are beginning to move around more, but they will still be on the move during warmer weather too. So the question is: when are deer most active? The answer varies. At twilight, dawn, and dusk, they’ll be moving more than they will at any other point during the day, honing in on food sources and also just generally exploring areas that might contain food sources.

But as mentioned, there’s a bit of a caveat. Deer are not just up for foraging at certain hours regardless of what time it is; instead, their activity is dependent on the time of year too, to a large extent.

If you are trying to think of when deer are most active, it will depend on what part of the country you are in. If you are hunting whitetail deer in the South, they are most active early in the morning and late afternoon. For deer out West, they tend to be more active at mid-day.

Deer that live in places like the Midwest USA tend to be active around dusk and dawn and throughout the night. Popular times for hunting deer include first thing in the morning, right before sunset, at night, and during those middle of day lulls inactivity.

Where do deer go in the winter?

When deer want to survive the harsh winter weather they go south or head for sheltered, warmer places that offer food, water, and protection. Most deer migrate to warmer weather and head south when the snow begins to fall. Deer are native to cold areas but they can’t withstand extreme weather conditions.

Deer like to rest during the winter, use nature to their advantage. When the temperature is below freezing, deer find an area that is hidden from view, where the wind will not blow away any of their body heat or they seek out areas where they will not be in danger of getting frostbite. But one of the most important things is that there is access to food in order to stay well-fed in winter.

Where do deer go during the day?

The answer depends on the time of year, their sex and age, their diet and physical capabilities, their social behavior, and even the weather. Deer are active throughout the night and early morning, however, they tend to rest during the day during hot weather.

The reason for their daily patterns may be due to their instincts as prey animals from which they prefer to graze at night so they could remain undetected. As a result, the deer developed the instinct to sleep during the day and be active at night. But even if they are being hunted, deer can still be active during the day, but only if they have dense vegetation in which to hide.

Deer typically spend their days alone or in small groups, browsing and resting. They can move long distances when they need to, but they don’t usually travel too far, either. They usually seek some kind of seclusion during the day, and they spend a great deal of time curled up in tall grasses and woody areas, conserving their body heat while trying to avoid exposure to predators and humans.

Deer spend most of their day within a fairly localized area as well, traveling between feeding areas and bedding sites, and they are very territorial. At night, however, when these nocturnal creatures are not safe from danger, they become much less territorial.

Where do deer sleep in the winter?

Deer sleep anywhere and everywhere in the winter. They are warm-blooded, so they need to be able to move around. If they are really cold, they will find shelter among the trees or behind boulders.

They often sleep against trees so that if the temperature drops, their heat will travel up the tree and keep them warm. If you see a deer lying on its back with its legs in the air, it is probably trying to give itself a back rub.

They also sleep in wooded areas, though during cold winter months they tend to stay in the ravines near their usual sleeping spots. Deer move about less in the winter and tend to eat a lot more.

They choose to make their bed in the woods, usually in a hollow tree or some other protected area where there is little chance of getting caught by the snow and ice.

When the snow piles up beneath their tree, they may dig out an even larger opening to its original size. This allows them to have plenty of room and can keep them safe from predators

How do deer stay warm in the winter?

Deer are very furry animals, sporting a thick coat of hair, which helps to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The insulating quality of this furry coat is very helpful in keeping the deer warm during the colder months of the year. They also have hollow hairs on their ears and legs that keep them cozy.

It is also believed by some that deer have better circulation, so they are able to get rid of heat more easily. With this, they are able to stay warm in the cold winters by wearing their heavy fur coats (thick layer of fur) acting as insulation which prevents them from getting too cold.

It also helps protect them from raindrops and snowflakes. They are even able to run fast enough to keep themselves warm.

Do deer sleep lying down?

No, deer do not sleep lying down. In fact, they don’t sleep lying down at all! If a deer is going to lie down, it will rest its head on its knees. However, it has been occasionally noticed that deer do sleep lying down although how the deer sleep is not actually a reflection of the condition of deer in the wild.

Sleeping lying down has many advantages for a deer. For one thing, sleeping while standing is dangerous because one false step could lead to an early fall and a sudden attack by a predator.

Although deer have been seen to sleep lying down, they predominantly sleep standing up. This is because raised blood pressure that occurs when a deer lies down can harm the deer’s internal organs, such as the liver and spleen. However, although the majority of deer prefer to sleep standing up, there are some individual differences among deer in this regard.

Deer sleep lying down or standing up. They do not sleep sitting up like humans though you may rarely see deer sleeping.

Do deer lay down to sleep at night?

Deer do not lay down to sleep at night! They rest standing up. This happens for many reasons, but the primary one is that standing takes less energy than lying down, and their main activities (eating, drinking, and mating) often take place at night.

So deer in their natural habitat don’t lie down to sleep at night. But in captivity, they do. Why? Because deer that live in captivity are used to the shelter and are not afraid of it. They have less worry about predators or what to eat so they can fall peacefully asleep without worrying about being eaten while they sleep.

What time do deer come out in the morning?

Deer are certainly nocturnal, but it’s hard to say exactly when they come out in the morning. They usually start their day sometime between an hour before sunrise and one hour after sunrise. If you want to be super precise about it, you should check your area’s hunting regulations to see how long hunters are allowed to shoot at deer from sun-up to sun-down. In most places, though, you’d be safe to assume that they come out somewhere between 5:00 AM and 10:00 AM.

As a deer hunter wanting precise information on when deer comes out in the morning, setting up a trail camera to monitor a deer’s routing would give you accurate information on the time.

When do deer come out during the day?

Deer are some of the most difficult animals to spot during the daytime hours but will typically come out during the day when hunting is in season, at dawn and dusk, or when they are startled out of their hiding place.

During the day, deer are often resting in their bedding areas. They may be sleeping peacefully or just moving about. Some can be seen with their eyes closed. They may rouse and look around, but generally remain very still. Strong winds, cold temperatures, being chased, or hearing other deer may cause them to get up and move to a safer area or they might grunt and run away.

What time do deer come out in the afternoon?

This event is not time-specific so it’s tough to predict. As a general rule, the best time to look for deer will be early in the day. Based on a few assumptions, the first deer may appear around 2 in the afternoon, usually a doe, who will look for food or water. By 3 p.m., they are joined by a buck.

Deer are creatures of habit. After a long night of moving feed and watering their gardens, they’re going to go back to bed. The earliest a deer would get up is an hour before sunrise; they’d wait until then to feed because they need time to digest their food before going to sleep again. The earliest a deer would come out in the afternoon is around four in the afternoon. It depends on how quickly they can digest different foods: a deer who eats plants will take longer than one who eats meat.


Deers live all over the world, which means that they have adapted to a wide range of environments. In this article,  on how long do deer live? we have been able to identify how long deer live and that the lifespan of a deer depends on the species.

Deer tend to live longer in captivity because they generally have fewer predators and a slower metabolism than other four-legged mammals, but in the wild, where they are easy prey to predators and exposed to various environmental conditions, their lifespan way is cut shorter than expected.