Going back to November for this image of this big boy. The rut was going on and the bucks were busy looking for love. This particular guy was following a small harem, occasionally getting close enough to give a whiff to see if any of them were ready and willing. He paused briefly from his stalking and gave me this nice capture in the golden light soon after sunrise.
Mule deer chills out, gives a smile
Well, not really a smile, but we can pretend. 😉
Taken a couple of weeks ago, the bucks were quite relaxed, opting to lie down and enjoy a quiet, cold morning on the Colorado plains. The rut is over so the big guys are in no rush to be anywhere or fight off competitors.
As you could guess from the thickness of this guy’s antlers, I have no doubt he was one of the top-ranked contenders for the annual event and next spring his genes will make an appearance in more than one young fawn.
Let’s call it #MuleDeerMonday.
A beautiful young leucistic mule deer doe
Well, this was a fun surprise on this past Sunday’s photo outing.
My photo buddy and I spotted this light-colored beauty as we arrived at our photo destination but as it was still early, it was too dark to get any decent pics. We made a mental note to check the area later and I am glad we did!
By then she was on the move with the rest of the herd and gave us some nice poses. Her blonde fur really set her apart from the much darker coloring of a ‘normal’ mule deer.
Leucism is a genetic condition where pigmentation is reduced in an animal. Mammals, birds and even reptiles can have it. Leucistic animals can vary in appearance from lighter coloring like this doe to a splotchy mixture of normal and light coloring. It is not the same as albinism. Albinos have a total loss of melanin resulting in no pigmentation, even in the eyes.
Deer does under a stunning sunrise
The early morning show to the east was so gorgeous last Sunday it seemed like even the deer were taking notice. Leaving the house, I had a feeling it was going to be a nice sunrise so I hurried to my destination.
As luck would have it, three deer does were grazing at the top of the hill. The silhouettes of the deer and the trees provided some foreground interest and that backdrop… Well, what can I say. Just awesome!
Video slideshow – Top shots 2022: Wildlife
Last but not least in my look back at my photo year, we come to mammals big and small – with a reptile thrown in for good measure as well. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to photograph so many of the creatures which we share this planet with. Each one is special and each chance to see them thrills me. Enjoy this view of pika, marmots, bison, foxes, bears and so much more!
White-tailed deer bucks go head-to-head
The rut is winding down but some of the action is ongoing. These two younger bucks were keen on impressing a nearby lady with their prowess, putting on a nice show of back-and-forth. The light was pretty dim at the time and they chose a spot to fight that had plenty of obstructions but it was fun to see them go at it.
White-tailed deer buck strikes a pose in the early morning sun
This was one handsome dude, clearly in his prime and a contender during the rut that is ongoing right now. He has a fantastic, largely symmetrical rack and judging from that body, he is all muscle and ready to fight.
On Saturday, none of the other bucks wanted to challenge him as he courted a couple of pretty does in the area. As he kept watch on them, he emerged from the trees at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and struck this pose, giving a great look.
White-tailed deer buck on the prowl for the ladies
The deer rut is in full swing right now but there just has not been much head-to-head action to be seen. A few, dominant bucks seem to have already taken charge with the others just not willing to mount a direct challenge to them. This would-be-contender was circling the area, occasionally approaching the does to test their willingness but none seemed particularly interested.
White-tailed deer buck warily passes a coyote on the plains
Some fun interaction between these two species yesterday morning. The coyote was hunting in a field when the deer approached. The buck stood atop a nearby hill for quite a while, trying to decide if it would be safe to pass.
Eventually he figured it was worth the risk and walked by but never took his eyes off the wily canine who, of course, kept close watch on the buck.
Certainly the deer doesn’t have much to fear from a lone coyote but, judging from the rough condition of its antlers, its rut has not been going well so I can’t blame it for being so wary. 😉
Look into the eyes, my deer
An extreme closeup of a mule deer buck. Kind of fun image that, if you look close, showcases the horizontal pupil that deer have. That is quite different than the round ones that humans have and it gives the deer a key advantage.
With their horizontal pupils and their eyes being on the side of their head give them a 300-degree panoramic view. This is far wider than our own field of view which is less than 180 degrees and allows the deer to more easily spot threats.