White-tailed deer are common throughout the park’s woods and meadows, where they graze on grasses, fruits, and acorns. Bucks grow fuzzy antlers every spring; by fall, they are polished, smooth, and ready to be used to fight other bucks for mating rights. Each winter, deer drop their antlers and begin the cycle fresh the next year. Fawns are born in late June: Their spots help camouflage them from predators in their vulnerable first few months.
Where to See Deer
White-tailed deer are easiest to spot in open meadows, such as those in Cades Cove and Cataloochee. But keep your eyes peeled as you walk forest trails, too.