Deer in Spring Landscape

Sika Deer

Sika Deer crossing the road - Photo by John WhiteWhat do they look like?

Sika Deer are a small elk introduced into Maryland in 1916 by private citizens. They are 2 Ĺ feet high at the shoulder, weigh 50-100 pounds and originate from Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan). The sika deer coat is dark brown to black. Some have faint white parallel spots on their back. They also have a white rump. Males are larger than females and have antlers. Males also have a dark shaggy mane running down their neck.

Where are they found?

Sika deer inhabit marshes, swamps, and associated woodlands and agricultural fields in Dorchester county. They also inhabit Assateague Island in Worcester county. Recently, they have expanded their range into some marsh areas of western Somerset and Wicomico counties.

What do they eat?

Sika deer feed primarily at dusk through dawn on marsh vegetation, grasses and agricultural crops such as corn and soybeans.

What other kind of deer live in Maryland?

The white-tailed deer is the only native deer in Maryland and is widespread.

I didn't know that!

Sika deer usually only have one calf whereas white-tailed deer commonly have two fawns. Sika deer males (stags) are very territorial and keep harems of females (cows) during the breeding season or rut.