The book says white-tailed deer can run in short spurts up to 40 mph. I got the opportunity to check this by rough estimate when a doe raced me down the road with no thought of cutting into the open field adjacent. No fences were there to block her escape, but she just lined it out and ran hard. I eased alongside on the dirt road, holding a camcorder on the deer and then panning momentarily to the speedometer. Then I backed off and the doe crossed the road in front of me.
Thirty-six miles per hour. Not bad, considering she had already run more than a quarter mile when I got into position. With speed like that, you can see why predators don’t bother to chase a healthy deer. Unless they can surprise and pounce, they have little chance of catching a deer without tag-teaming it.