Ask The Biologist

Tall Tail

Tall Tail

By Bob Humphrey

Like humans, every deer is an individual with unique traits.

QUESTION: I’ve been watching this young buck for a couple months now, and he has the longest tail I’ve ever seen on a whitetail. I live in eastern North Carolina, about 40 miles from the coast. Is this genetics, or is he a freak?

ANSWER:Some of this could be explained by posture. The deer is obviously relaxed with its tail hanging straight down rather than tucked under or held upward. It’s also a younger deer, so the tail may appear relatively longer compared to the legs until it grows taller.

Even at that, it’s a long tail.

Like humans, deer vary on an individual basis.

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