Whitetail Deer Population By State

By: Mario

There are about 36,000,000 deer wandering the myriad wildernesses of the US, most of which are whitetails, but their distribution across the 50 states is anything but even.

For example, you’ve got far more of a chance of running into some whitetails in Texas than you do in, say, Delaware.

So, if you’re hoping to observe some whitetails or are perhaps deciding on the difficulty level of your next hunting trip, it’s worth checking out deer population by state.

Generally speaking, you’ll have more luck in the Eastern states, but if you want some specifics, read on!

Deer Populations Across The US

Let’s jump right into the state-by-state breakdown.

Alabama – 1.75 million

There are about 1.75 million deer in The Yellowhammer State, and every single one of them is a whitetail.

Alaska – 340.000

You might think that the perpetually snowy landscape of Alaska would be inhospitable for deer, but not so.

Granted, being that Alaska is larger than Texas, California, and Montana combined, on a per capita basis, there aren’t many deer at all, but statewide, there are about 340,000.

However, not one of them is a whitetail. These cold-bearing beasts are all sitka blacktails.

Arkansas – 1 million

There are currently about 1.1 million deer roaming the woodlands of Arkansas, the majority of which are whitetails, 1 million of them to be precise.


A famously arid state comprising four discrete desert regions (Sonoran, Mohave, Chihuahuan, and Great Basin), it should come as no surprise that deer are few and far between in Arizona.

There are roughly 105,000 whitetails roaming The Copper State.

California – no whitetail population

The last confirmed sighting of a whitetail in The Golden State was in the late 1940s, so it’s fair to say that California probably no longer has a whitetail population.


Arriving in The Centennial State, you may just catch one or more of an estimated 450,000 whitetails. They’re primarily found on the Eastern Plains and the Western Slope.


In The Land of Steady Habits, there are roughly 101,000 deer, all whitetails.


Surprise, surprise, the second-smallest state, otherwise known as The Small Wonder, has a pretty small whitetail population estimated to sit around the 45,000 mark.

Florida500.000 / 700.000

Despite the swampy topography of The Sunshine State, Florida is home to between 500,000 and 700,000 whitetail deer, around 1000 of which belong to the rare key deer subspecies.

Georgia 1.27 million

Earning its nickname (The Peach State), Georgia is an absolute peach for deer spotting, boasting a whitetail population of around 1.27 million.

Hawaiino whitetail population

Unfortunately, The Aloha State hasn’t said aloha to many deer, as evidenced by the combined blacktail and axis deer population of only 112,000. There are no whitetails to be found on the island.

Idaho 520.000

The Gem State is home to approximately 750,000 deer, but only about 520,000 of those are whitetails. The rest are mule deer.

Illinois 660.000

Falling just ahead of Idaho, Illinois is home to around 660,000 whitetails. But considering The Prairie State contains a lot of, you’ve guessed it… prairies, it’s unsurprising that deer love living here.

Prairies are essential types of landscape for whitetails, as they provide around 44% of their diet throughout the year!

Indiana 680.000

The Hoosier State pips Illinois by 20,000 deer, amounting to a total deer population of 680,000. They’re all whitetails.

Iowa 445.000

Iowa is home to 445,000 deer, all of which are whitetails, a relatively decent density, likely facilitated in part by The Hawkeye State’s watery borders, the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers. 

Kansas 650.000

Of 700,000 deer total in Kansas, about 50,000 are mule deer. The remaining 650,000 are whitetails.

Kentucky 1 million

Every member of The Bluegrass State’s 1 million-strong deer population is a whitetail. You won’t find any other species here.

Louisiana 500.000

Halving Kentucky’s total, we have a total of 500,000 whitetails in The Bayou State. You’d think the combination of prairies and river valleys would be more popular with deer, but 500K isn’t bad.

Maine 290.000

Another whitetail stronghold, Maine is home to between 290,000 and 300,000 deer.

Maryland 207.000

Maryland is inhabited by both whitetails (207,000) and sika deer (10,000).

Massachusetts 50.000

Massachusetts may be positively riddled with codfish, but deer… not so much. There are 90,000 in total, all whitetails.

Michigan 2 million

The diverse topography of Michigan provides countless suitable deer habitats, which is why, all accounted for, there are about 2 million whitetails in the area.

Minnesota 1 million

There are 1 million whitetails in snowy Minnesota. That’s more than you’d expect for a particularly frigid landscape, but there is plenty wilderness to go around in The Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Mississippi 1.75 million

Boasting an absolutely stacked whitetail population, Mississippi has a total of 1.75 million deer. 

Missouri 1.4 million

Missouri maxes out at 1.4 million whitetails. No other species will show themselves in The Show-Me State.

Montana 213.000

Of the 507,000 deer in Montana, roughly 213,000 are whitetails. It’s one of the few states to contain whitetails as the minority species.

Nebraska 300.000

Nebraska is home to 300,000 whitetail deer. You’ll catch plenty of other deer species in this state too,  though.

Nevadano whitetail population

There are no whitetails in Nevada, just between 85,000 and 90,000 mule deer.

New Hampshire 100.000

Although the population is only estimated to be about 100,000, New Hampshire is a whitetail state through and through — No mule deer here.

New Jersey 125.000

We have another whitetail-only state in New Jersey, boasting 125,000 in total.

New Mexico 13.800

Roughly 12% of New Mexico’s 115,000-strong deer population are whitetails. That gives us 13,800 altogether.

New York 1.2 million

The rural areas of New York State are teeming with whitetail, 1.2 million to be exact.

North Carolina 1 million

With 1 million whitetails and nothing else, North Carolina falls just short of New York’s impressive total. 

North Dakota 150.000

There are 150,000 whitetails in North Dakota. But an additional 20,000 mule deer take the deer population total to 150,000. 

Ohio 700.000 / 750.000

It’s estimated that there are between 700,000 and 750,000 deer in Ohio, all whitetails.

Oklahoma 747.000

Roughly 747,000 whitetails call Oklahoma home. 

Oregon 15.000

Despite a robust deer population, Oregon is home to little over 15,000 whitetails.

Pennsylvania 1.5 million

Go for a nature walk in Pennsylvania, and the only deer you have a chance of spotting are whitetails. And being that there are 1.5 million of them, sightings are fairly common.

Rhode Island 18.000

Rhode Island boasts a minuscule 18,000 whitetails and no other species either.

South Carolina 730.000

All of South Carolina’s 730,000 deer are whitetails.

South Bakoda 4.000

South Dakota is another mixed species state. But with a 420,000-strong population, whitetails are by far the most prominent.

Tennessee 900.000

Tennessee is dead center of the primary whitetail region in the US. But of the deer-dense states that make up the area, it’s quite middle road, with 900,000 whitetails.

Texas 5.275.000

Texas is the deer capital of the United States. There are about 5.5 million deer in The Lone Star State, 5,275,000 of which are whitetails.

Utah 1000

In Utah, we see another rare occurrence of the whitetail being the minority. Only 1000 of the 315,000 deer in The Beehive State are whitetails.

Vermont 133.000

Vermont has 133,000 whitetails to offer and no other species.

Virginia 1 million

At 1 million, the whitetail deer population in Virginia is thriving.

Washington 105.000

There are roughly 105,000 whitetails in Washington State. But more than 5,000 of them Belong to the Columbian whitetail subspecies.

West Virginia 550.000

West Virginia is all about whitetail deer. There are currently about 550,000 living in The Mountain State. 

Wisconsin 1.6 million

At 1.6 million, Wisconsin has the third-largest whitetail population in the country.

Wyoming – 70.000

There are about 70,000 whitetails in Wyoming. This means they’re outnumbered by mule deer.

Final Thoughts

There you have it — A state-by-state breakdown of whitetail populations across the US.

Totaling 5.275 million deer, Texas has far and away the largest whitetail population in the nation, with Michigan coming a not-so-close second with 2 million whitetails overall.