Hunting a deer down is quite challenging and a pretty difficult task since deer have one of the finest legs in the animal kingdom.
They run so swiftly that you may lose their sight in a matter of seconds and miss the target. But have you ever wondered how fast can a deer run?
Well, the answer isn’t that straightforward as different species of deer have different speed ratios.
Once you get a decent idea about the fastest speed of deer, you will be able to figure out how to plan your strategies effectively to chase down one. And this is what our today’s article is all about.
So, keep reading till the end.
What Makes Deer Run So Fast?
Before we get into the discussion of how fast deer can run, let us give you some knowledge about what makes them one of the fastest animals with incredible speed.
Every creature on this planet has been created with its own individualistic nature and defensive mechanism.
When it comes to the food chain, deer are a favorite source of food for predators like wolves, mountain lions, coyotes, alligators, bears, wild dogs and cats, and some prey birds like an eagle.
Not all of them hunt deer as a primary source of food, but they are glad to have deer meat when they are given chance or find one dead. Other than jungle predatory animals and creatures, there are humans as well who keep hunting deer.
So, this is pretty much obvious that deer must have some defensive mechanism to save themselves from all these predators. And, this is why they are blessed with such fast speed so that they can escape when they are being chased down.
If you are up to deer hunting for a while, you know it pretty well that even the slightest noise can make a deer go for a sprint race instantly and disappear in seconds.
Deer are able to run that fast due to their specially-tuned physiology. If you have ever noticed how deer actually run, you may have observed that their legs have great coordination with each other.
Their back and front legs work in an opposing rhythm and help the animal to launch forward so swiftly.
According to scientists, muscle fiber type has a great impact on an animal’s running speed. There are two types of it- slow-twitch muscle fibers and fast-twitch muscle fibers.
The second type can initiate instant bursts of maximum strength and power for a while that helps the animal to run faster.
In terms of deer, scientists have figured out that deer have a great proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers, even better than other animals and humans, that can produce a great power within a matter of seconds to run so swiftly.
When Do Deer Run Faster?
However, depending on the reason for running, their speed may vary. When it comes to mating with a female deer, or predators approaching them to hunt down, inevitably the speed will be at the top of their highest capacity right then.
But when they are just casually passing through some woodland or moving towards a place with a group of deer, they tend to have a much more relaxed pace then.
Additionally, deer are seen having less speed during the winter season, as they run out of food that time and it requires much energy to run at that high speed.
How Fast a Deer Can Run?
Now that you know what makes deer run faster than other animals, now it’s time to get into the real discussion.
For your kind information, there are almost 60 different deer species all around the world. But they can be divided into major 5 categories- White-tailed deer, Moose, Elk, Mule deer, Caribou.
A full-grown normal deer can run 30-35 mph on average when they have sprint mode on. But, that’s not the case with every other species.
So, let’s talk about the speed of other species one by one.
#1. White-Tailed Deer
White-tailed deer are especially known for their white big tails and are mostly found in the eastern and northern parts of the US, southern Canada, and also Panama.
Their full-grown male ones weigh around 203 to 405 lbs. whereas their female version weighs almost around 155-218 lbs. These deer are usually tall enough, can grow up to 8 feet highest.
Other than walking, trotting, and bounding, you will also find them running swiftly when necessary. These nimble creatures are also known for jumping really high, almost 9 to 10 feet tall fences.
Though the average sprint speed of a white-tailed deer is 30 mph, the highest speed of a full-grown white-tailed deer can reach up to 64 km/h or 40 miles per hour sometimes.
Other than predatory animals, humans are also one of those threats that make these beautiful species of deer run such fast.
#2. Moose Deer
This species of deer is so rough and tough that no one would ever think of tangling with one of them. A mature moose deer can reach up to 6 feet in height and can weigh around almost 2000 pounds!
Having such a heavyweight naturally means it will be difficult for them to run faster than other species.
Though moose deer are quite slower than their other cousins, still they can manage to reach the highest speed of 35 miles per hour.
Being the largest among all the deer species, moose deer are a bit easier to hunt down than others due to their comparatively slower pace feature.
#3. Elk Deer
Having a large horn head, long thin legs, and bigger body shape, Elk deer can run faster than the previous two species mentioned above.
Though they are not much taller in height (5 feet highest), they do have a bulky body weight, which is around 700-1100 pounds at max. They are mostly seen in the remote places of western North America.
When it comes to speed, Elk deer don’t usually run that much, but once they get into it, the speed can reach up to 45 miles every hour at max. So, if you are going to hunt one of these deer, make sure you have Flash’s legs with you!
Just kidding, but it is more likely to happen that they can easily get disappeared even if they have such a heavy body weight.
#4. Mule Deer
Having some identical similarities, people often get confused between Mule deer and White-tailed deer. But if you are an experienced hunter you may know the basic differences between these two.
Mule deer are marked by their black tail and much larger ears and they are mostly found in the Western US, Northern Mexico, and some parts of Canada.
They are comparatively shorter than any of their cousin brothers with an average height of 3 feet. Not only the shortest but also they are one of the lightest species of deer with an average weight under 300 pounds, ranging from 154-331 lbs.
Now you can easily assume that having such light bodyweight and short height means they have the advantage, in this case, to run faster. Mule deer can run with an average sprint speed of 35 miles each hour.
However, they don’t usually run as straight as other species of deer do, rather they jump into the air and take a leap of 15 feet at once and keep going forward following this style.
#5. Caribou Deer
When it comes to hunting down the fastest species of deer, the name of Caribou will initially come into the game anyway.
Yes, among all the other species of deer, Caribou has the highest sprint speed and they are mostly seen throughout whole Europe, Northern Asia, North America, and Greenland as well.
This herding animal can grow up to 5 feet long and weigh around 700 pounds when they are fully grown up. Their amazing speed can reach up to a maximum of 50 miles every hour, meaning they can disappear within a blink of your eyes.
So, if you are planning to chase down a Caribou deer, make sure you have a good pair of shoes and Usain Bolt’s legs!
Must Read: Does Deer Like Peanut Butter?
Can a Human Being Outrun a Deer?
If you are fond of hunting deer, you must have some additional characteristics than average human beings. As deer are almost 3-4 times faster than an athletic human being, it’s almost impossible to outrun a deer.
To put it simply into perspective, an average deer can reach up to 35 miles an hour, whereas the fastest human being (currently Usain Bolt) can reach the highest speed up to 27 miles per hour.
So, it is pretty much obvious that you won’t be able to outrun a deer even if you become the successor of Usain Bolt!
But that doesn’t mean you can’t hunt a deer once it disappears from your vision as you can’t catch it by just running after it. There are ways to do it and we will talk about some effective tips on deer hunting below.
Tips on Hunting a Running Deer
- As you can’t outrun a deer, you better practice setting up a proper position and fixing your aim before the deer crosses your sight. You can either sit, kneel down, or stand in a comfortable position.
- Make sure you have the right gear and a rifle with great accuracy that can shoot from far distances.
- Aiming at the back of a deer’s head would be the best bet so that the bullet ends up hitting at least around the neck or shoulder area. Chances are high to miss the target if you plan to shoot at the broadside.
- Use your rifle scope wisely, and keep swinging and floating in front of the animal before you pull the trigger of your gun.
- Don’t forget to use odor-repelling spray, make less noise, and place yourself on an elevated land where you will be undetected.
So that’s that. Being a professional hunter, it’s a prerequisite knowledge to know about how fast a deer can run.
Because it helps you to understand the speedy movement of a deer and thus you can fix your aim and set up your position accordingly to accurately hit the target.
I hope this article helped you to understand a lot more about different deer species and their speed differences. Now you know what you require to improve your shooting skills to be a perfect hunter.
Keep Practicing and keep winning, best of luck.