The little deer left without a mother are sometimes taken to the chum (dwelling of a Northern deer herder). They are called "avkas". Such fawns become domestic animals: they are never eaten, harnessed or killed. A special beautiful collar is made for a family pet. The image "avka" is one of the most frequent in the fairy tales of the northern peoples.
Northern deer eyes change with the seasons. In summer, the reflective surface behind the retina is golden which is common for many mammals with an active nocturnal lifestyle. In winter, this part of the eye turns into dark blue. This way, the eyes collect more light, which sharpens the vision. It is very helpful during long polar nights.
Northern deer do not make a sound when they are injured. Therefore, they are also used in hostilities. Deer were also used during the Second World War. In the Soviet Union, with their help, wounded soldiers were evacuated, military supplies were delivered, scouts were thrown into the enemy's rear to the Nazis, and even destroyed aircraft were taken out together with crews. More than 10 thousand Northern deer were mobilized of which several transport battalions were formed. In total, the deer took 10142 wounded soldiers and officers from the battlefield, delivered 162 emergency aircraft from the tundra, and transferred 8,000 fighters and 17,000 tons of ammunition to the front line of defense.
Northern deer don't sweat. They have weak sweat glands, so they cool the body like dogs: they breathe heavily, opening their mouths and sticking out their tongues. For the same reason, in almost all race photos, deer have funny open mouths and tongue sideways.
Only certain northern peoples, who are called Tuvinians-Todzhins and Evenks, ride Northern deer like horses. These northern peoples use the Northern deer to travel where it is difficult or impossible to get through, for example, in the mountain tundra, where the Todzhins live.
The northern people of the Evens had special deer for transporting Christian (Orthodox) icons. After active missionary activity in the 50s of the nineteenth century in the Kolyma (territory of Russia), the northern people of the Evens transported Orthodox icons from camp to camp on a specially designated deer - the most beautiful of the herd.
He was called "nen uruk" — the bearer of the shrine.
Northern people "Nenets" drink fresh blood of young deer. There are few vitamins in the tundra and blood helps to replenish their deficiency and increase hemoglobin. They talk to the animal for a long time and calm it down, explaining that it is time to go to the heavenly herd and people need his body. It is believed that the blood of a frightened deer is not useful. The northern people "Nenets" collect deer blood, store it in bags from the lower part of the deer. Sometimes blood is salted and meat or fish is dipped into it. The Nenets are the indigenous minority of the peoples of the North. They inhabit the Eurasian coast of the Arctic Ocean from the Kola Peninsula to Taimyr. In total, about 44.6 thousand Nenets live on the territory of Russia.
Northern deer wool is special: the hair is hollow and filled with air inside, at the base there is a dense layer of down. This allows the deer not to freeze at low temperatures and not get too wet. Even the hooves and the front surface of the upper lip are covered with wool which is not found in other species of deer.
Northern deer are very attracted to salt. They need it, but under normal conditions in the tundra it is practically nonexistent. Therefore, during the short northern summer, Northern deer wander to the seashore.