How high can deer jump?

The distance deer can cover in the air just might surprise you.

How high can deer jump?

We've previously discussed how to identify deer poop from moose and elk, but now that we have that smelly conversation aside let’s turn to something more graceful. How far can a whitetail jump? Whitetails appeared on the North American landscape nearly 4 million years ago and evolved in a woodland environment. That childhood upbringing crafted an animal at ease with long jumping and high jumping. Whether jumping over downed logs or chasms in an attempt to escape predators, whitetails lead a jumping lifestyle.

The high-jumping question is fairly easy to answer due to the efforts of ranchers and gardeners to keep deer in, and out. Most of the deer farmers I know construct fences at least 8 feet or higher. Few, if any deer, can jump that high for Alcatraz freedom, but most can clear a 6-foot fence without batting a Bambi eyelash.

For the long-jump record let’s refer to notes in Leonard Lee Rue III’s book The Deer of North America.

“The longest span between tracks that I have personally measured was a little over 26 feet (8 meters),” writes Rue. He also notes of a measurement from another individual of a whitetail running down a slight grade that cleared a 29-foot horizontal distance.

Related: What blood can tell you when tracking deer

Renowned wildlife photographer and whitetail expert Charles Alsheimer observed, measured and then wrote about a buck being run off by another that cleared a 35-foot span. That jump even cleared a cattle fence. To visualize that think about two new SUVs sitting bumper to bumper. That’s approximately a 30- to 35-foot span depending on your taste for luxury driving.

With those questions out of your mind you’ll free up some space for other thoughts such as how many times does a deer pee per day or why did the deer cross the road … right in front of your new crossover.

Featured image: iStock


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