Deer of Canada

You may be surprised to learn that there are over 47 deer species worldwide roaming forests, farms and gardens in search of food, causing crop damage along the way. However, for the purposes of our mission, we will study the five deer species in Canada that are a concern to gardeners and farmers during planting season including: White-tailed deer, Mule Deer, Caribou, Moose and Wapiti.



Whitetail Deer

The white-tailed deer is the most common deer roaming North America. In the United States, there are an estimate 30 million active deer. The MNR estimates that Ontario, Canada has a deer population of 400,000 - just in that territory alone.

The coat of a white-tailed deer is tan or reddish-brown with a white ring around the eye. Only the bucks have antlers. Raising their tail means that danger is near, or so they think. White-tailed deer have excellent horizontal sight; but they do not see well vertically. They are known to carry tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease that can be harmful to humans and pets.


Did you know that the Caribou is the wildlife species on the Canadian 25-cent coin? In the cooler months, Male and female caribou eat tree lichens and in the summertime they graze tundra plants and other vegetation. Their droppings help the environment by providing nutrients to the soil and water.

Caribou are the only members of the deer family that have antlers on both genders. There are two types of Caribou: Peary Caribou and Wood Land Caribou. Peary Caribou graze on herbs and grasses including bark whereas Wood Land Caribou prefer tree and ground lichens.

And, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is actually a Caribou, not a white-tailed deer!


Every Canadian province with a forest experiences a sighting of moose except for Nunavut - and being that they are the largest of the deer family, they are hard not to see! Moose are limited to cooler regions because of their large bodies. They have an inability to sweat and the heat produced by fermentation in their gut will not allow them comfort in hotter climates. Moose like to eat leaves, bark and pine cones; but they will settle for buds from trees and shrubs as well as aquatic plants.

Wapiti ( Elk)

Second in size to the moose, Wapiti, with long-backed antlers, can be found along the Rockies in Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon and scattered throughout Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. North American residents may better know Wapiti deer as the 'American Elk.'

Elk tend to stay in open areas rather than woody areas. In the summer, elk surround mountainous pastures and in the winter, can be found in dense forests. They are considered to be grazers, feasting on woody vegetation, lichen, grasses, tree bark and green plants.

The Mule Deer

Mule Deer can be found in Manitoba; but Alberta is a premier spot for trophy mule deer. Antler ears on a Mule Deer are large in proportion to the head. They are appropriately named after the mule. Their rumps have a large patch of white by the short black-tipped tail. 

These are the most popular kinds of deer. DeerbustersCanada invites home gardeners and farmers to explore our poly and metal deer fence for sale; and contact us with any questions on how to control deer in you area.