Topics: Sitka Black-tailed Deer Species Profile, Alaska Department.
Sitka black-tailed deer are cousins to the larger Columbia black-tailed deer of the Pacific Northwest, and both are closely related to the (even larger) mule deer of the American West.
Sitka black-tail fawns are born in late spring, following the breeding season in late November. Breeding bucks spend little time foraging and by late November have used up much of their fat reserve, while does generally enter December in prime condition. Does breed during their second year of life and continue producing fawns annually until they reach 10 or 12 years of age. Prime-age does (5-10 years) typically produce two fawns annually.
As the winter snowpack recedes, deer disperse and begin to move about; migratory deer move to high elevation alpine/subalpine habitats while resident deer remain throughout the forest at lower elevations. Summer and early fall are periods of active foraging as deer accumulate fat reserves to help get them through the winter and early spring. With the first signs of winter, usually the first heavy frost, deer in higher alpine and subalpine areas descend to upper elevations of the rain forest.