How Fast Can a Deer Run

How Fast Can a Deer Run? Deer Species & Factors Discussed

Deer with their exceptional psyche and body movements are best known for their agile and swift nature. Studies have pointed out that a deer for its survival and existence is capable of running at an extraordinary speed to escape hunters or predators.

However, if you want to know how fast a deer can run with exact facts and figures, then the figure may vary from one type of deer to another. The exact running speed of a deer depends on various factors i.e. its size, weight, type, and age.

A deer running at full speed
A deer running at full speed

In this post, we will examine how fast a deer can run with a detailed analysis of major factors that contribute to its running capabilities. We will also delve deep into how you can measure or predict the speed of a deer.

The Speed of Deer (A Scientific Study)

A study conducted recently by scientists showed that the average speed of deer differs from one species to another; however, the normal speed of deer ranges from 30 miles per hour to 40 miles per hour.

A white-tailored deer can run at a speed of 35 mph while Elk and mule deer can go more than 40 mph.

A white-tailored deer can run at a speed of 35 mph while Elk and mule deer can go more than 40 mph
A white-tailored deer can run at a speed of 35 mph while Elk and mule deer can go more than 40 mph.

It is significant to note that the speed of deer can be affected by many factors including natural conditions and age. For example, a baby deer or commonly known as fawn deer may not be able to run as swiftly as compared to a properly grown deer.

Moreover, if the forest is surrounded by many bushes and trees then it can be a hindrance in the way of a deer and will affect the overall speed of deer.

How Fast Can a Deer Run? Deer Speed Depending on Species

Deer is a fascinating habitat that belongs to the Cervidae and is typically found in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The key thing about deer is that there are almost 43 species of deer there with Elk, reindeer, White tailored, and mule as the most prominent ones.

When determining the speed of a particular deer these species play a vital role as each type has a different speed capacity with versatile strength levels and body size.

The Average Running Speed of a Deer

Generally speaking, the speed of a deer is a hint or alarm that a deer is surrounded by a predator. Deers run as fast as they can when they are encountered by hunters whether animal or human. A collective analysis says that the average running speed of a deer is 30 km per hour to 40 km per hour.

How Fast Can a Whitetail Deer Run?

White-tailed deer are the most common deer species and are widespread across the world. These types of deer are named for their unique white tails which are raised only when they feel danger or harm around them.

White-tailed deer have a running speed of about 35 MPH. This speed can be increased especially when they are surrounded by hunters or predators. In normal conditions, deer usually prefer to walk but when they sense something unusual or dangerous they run as fast as they can.

How Fast Can a Mule Deer Run?

The second most commonly known species of deer is the Mule deer, these types of deer have unique and distinctive legs which help them run at a relatively higher speed as compared to other deer types.

Mules are reported to have a speed of about 40 to 45 kilometers per hour. The slim, long legs of these deer help them navigate the rough and uneven ground with ease.

How Fast Can ELK Run?

Elk or as known as wapiti are the fastest deer in the world with a running speed of about 50 kilometers per hour.

elk running at its top speed in a natural mountainous setting
elk running at its top speed in a natural mountainous setting

One of the key factors that contribute to their exceptional speed is their body size which is considered similar to a bull. Their large body measurements help them run at maximum speed without fatigue or tiredness.

How Fast Can a Red Deer Run?

Red deer are also considered one of the fastest deer but the exact figure of their running speed is not available as these types of deer are distinctive and are not commonly available.

Studies conducted on such species suggested that these distinctive deers are not capable of maintaining normal walking and running at the speed of 120 miles per hour. This happens when you are hunting or pursuing them.

How Fast Can a Roe Deer Run?

Roe deers are sometimes considered identical to red deers however Roe deers have their own distinctive features and body. They usually have a red color shade on their body with a white chin. One thing that helps hunters or predators differentiate between them is their black noses.

The running speed of this type of deer is 35 to 37 miles per hour. It has been recorded that Roe deer run at a higher speed only in survival conditions. They do not run instantly and instead wait for a moment, do observations, make a barking alarm, and then run.

How Fast Can a Muntjac Deer Run?

The Muntjac deer is the smallest deer species that belong to the Cervidae family. The running speed of this type of deer is not exactly known as they do not adapt to the surroundings and live like wild animals.

However, the estimated speed of Muntjac deer considering its size and weight is 30 to 35 miles per hour.

How Fast Can a Male Deer Run?

Male deer or buck deer can run at the speed of 30 to 40 miles per hour. This speed however can fluctuate depending on how the deer are getting bred or the overall health of that deer.

Speed Comparison Chart of Various Types of Deer

Deer speciesSpeed in miles per hour (mph)
Elk deers50-55 mph
White-tailored35-35 mph
Red deers40 mph
Roe deers35-37 mph
Mule deers45 mph
Muntjac deer30-35 mph
Normal Deer25-35 mph

The above chart shows the variant running speed of each type of deer but at full speed, a deer can increase its normal or estimated speed and can run up to 80 km/h.

Comparison Chart of Deer with Other Fastest Animals

Animals Speed (MPH)

Although deer can run at a relatively higher speed as compared to human beings when compared to other animals we analyze that it is not the fastest animal.

There are many animals that can outrun or prey on deer by dominating deer in terms of their fragile body dimensions. Below are the detailed comparisons of deer speed with other fast animals.

Cheetah vs Deer

Cheetahs are the world-famous fastest-ever animal. When comparing it to deer, a question arises whether a deer can outrun a cheetah or not.

cheetah and a deer in a natural savannah setting
cheetah and a deer in a natural savannah setting

The answer is “yes”. Deers on average have a running speed of about 30 to 35 mph while Cheetahs can run up to 70 mph. Considering this many people might think that deer are lesser in speed but deer with their instinctive feature to sense danger let them outrun a predator.

So, Cheetahs might be fastest with their powerful strong muscles and enlarged heart but deers have the ability to outrun them in some cases.

Horse vs Deer

The horse is another fastest animal in the world with a running ability of about 50 mph. When comparing the speed of horses with deer it is significant to consider that horses are bred in a way to increase their racing capabilities.

So, horses are typically faster than deer with more running speed. Some species of deer like mule and elk might reach the potential running speed of horses but the overall horse has more edge over the deer. The environmental conditions of both animals can also affect their speed.

Chihuahua vs Deer

Chihuahuas are small dogs who are recorded to have a higher speed. In normal cases, Chihuahuas can run at an average speed of about 15 miles per hour however if they are trained with special techniques they can increase the speed to a normal deer and can run up to 35 miles per hour.

How Can You Predict or Measure the Speed of a Deer?

When hunting, the importance of knowing the speed of a deer can not be denied as this factor will help you measure your shot accurately without missing the prey. Deers use running as a major tool to help them survive predators.

They also have the ability to sense danger beforehand. So, considering this in mind you need to know how you can smartly measure the speed of a deer.

For this, we have figured out some practical methods you can use to predict the speed of a deer while on the field.

1: Use GPS Collars

GPS collars with GPS sensors are used by scientists to track the measurements of a deer. This device lets scientists observe the movement pattern of a deer with accurate readings.

2: Use Rangefinder Cameras

Rangefinders cameras are also equipped with technological features that allow users to navigate and examine the speed of their prey flexibly.

These are best for hunters and predators to use with other detailed specifications as well. For tracking deer at long distances you must consider having the best rangefinder for long-range hunting.

3: Observing the Body Language of a Deer

A third method you can use to predict the next movement of the deer is by observing their ears and tails. For instance, in the case of White-tailored deer, the deer uses its tail as an alarm or a signal to hint that it is encountered by a hunter and it is about to run.

Factors That Impact the Speed of a Deer

There are a few factors that can impact the overall speed of a deer:


Adult deers have the ability to endure more as compared to young ones so they can run as fast as they can. Baby deers as having weak and fragile muscles and can not handle high speed; however as they grow, their abilities increase when their speed increases as well.


The terrain in which a particular deer is running can also affect its performance and speed of a deer. For example, a rough, uneven, or deep forest can become an obstacle in the speed of a deer.

Physical Conditions

The health and overall body measurements of a deer can also determine the speed of a deer. If the deer is injured or has an illness then it might not run as fast as it is in average conditions. Moreover, if the deer has big legs and heavy shoulders with increased body weight then it has smooth muscles that can run without any trouble.


The type of deer can also become a major factor in its running speed. For instance, white-tailored are capable of running 35 miles per hour. Elk and Mule on the other hand with their unique physical properties can run up to 50 miles per hour.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: A wild deer can run at a speed of about 40 to 45 mph. This estimate can vary depending on the age and environmental conditions of a particular deer.

A: Pronghorn deer are the fastest deer typically found in North America. They have an average running speed of about 60 mph.

A: Humans have a slow running ability of about 28 mph which is less than the average capacity of a deer. So, humans can not outrun deer with their 30 to 35 MPH running speed.

A: Baby deers known as fawns are capable of running right after their initial growth stages. The average running speed of fawns is 20 miles per hour.

Final Comment

Speed plays an important role in the life of deer as they use it for alerting, surviving, and acquiring food. Understanding the speed of a deer and its complexities can help us to navigate its movements beforehand and to get in-time actions for better hunting or shooting.


About Author

Hi, I’m William. a hunter, part-time blogger, and SEO Editor at Hunting Monitor. I have experience with hunting blogs for the last few years. I’m here to share my experience with beginner hunters. More about me here.

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