The Sitka deer or Sitka black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis), is a subspecies of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), similar to the Columbian black-tailed subspecies (O. h. colombianus). Their name originates from Sitka, Alaska, and it is not to be confused with the similarly named sika deer. Weighing in on average between 80 and 120 pounds (36 and 54 kg), Sitka deer are characteristically smaller than other subspecies of mule deer. Reddish-brown in the summer, their coats darken to a gray-brown in mid-late August. They are also good swimmers, and can occasionally be seen crossing deep channels between islands. Their average life span is about 10 years but a few are known to have attained an age of 15. Sitka deer inhabit the coastal rainforests of northern British Columbia, Canada and southeastern Alaska, United States. Their natural distribution included the Alexander Archipelago in Alaska and the adjacent mainland coast north to Yakutat. They were also been introduced to Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) in the 1890s, Prince William Sound during 1917-1923, the Kodiak Island Archipelago in 1924 and 1930, Yakutat in 1924, and the Skagway and Haines area during the 1950s. Sitka deer can be both migratory and residential depending on their habitat, but during winter months they primarily reside in old or mixed age forest growth below 1,500 feet (460 m), except on the southern two-thirds of Kodiak Island where forest cover is absent. The rut peaks in mid-November and fawns are born in the early June and weigh 6–8 pounds (2.7–3.6 kg). Bucks could weigh up to 120–200 pounds (54–91 kg) and does could weigh 80–100 pounds (36–45 kg).
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