Did you know white-tailed deer are the biggest mammal living in the wild in Illinois? Bears occasionally pass through our state but don’t live here, and bison in Illinois only live in managed herds. That makes deer our largest mammal. They can weigh between 125 pounds and 300 pounds and stand between 2½ feet and 3½ feet tall at the shoulder. Males are larger than females, and males are the only deer that grow antlers.
Deer live in urban, suburban and rural habitats in Illinois. Their main habitat requirement is a good food supply. They are plant eaters, and their diet can vary depending on where they live. They eat a lot of grasses as well twigs, leaves and fruits. In agricultural areas, they eat more crops, like corn and soybeans.