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Deer (singular and plural) are ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. That said, the two main groups in this family are Cervinae—including the muntjac, elk, fallow deer and chital; and Capreolinae—including the reindeer (caribou), roe deer and moose.
Female reindeer, and male deer of all species (except the Chinese water deer), grow and shed new antlers each year. Because of this, they differ from permanently-horned antelope, which are part of a different family (Bovidae).
Though named “deer,” the musk deer of Asia and water chevrotain (or mouse deer) of tropical African and Asian forests are not true deer. Rather, they form their own families: Moschidae and Tragulidae, respectively.
Deer appear in art from Paleolithic cave paintings onwards. Further, they have played a role in mythology, religion, and literature throughout history. Deer hunting has been a popular activity since at least the Middle Ages, and remains an important business today.
However, the best way to shoot deer is on film! Their majestic, timeless beauty makes them a favorite of photographers and naturalists everywhere.