Montana Outdoors

June 12, 2007


Yesterday on a trip into the upper Siegel Creek area (wood cutting was my excuse this time) I found the Bear Grass in full bloom. After tiring myself out taking 40-some photos of it (I’ll post some of them later), I decided to take a break and cut a load of wood when I noticed a flash of movement higher on the mountain and found I had a couple of visitors. After a rather clumsy stalk, I got into camera range of this pair, a doe with her last year’s son still in tow. Notice the huge ears: that’s why they have the title “Mule” deer.

Mule deer doe.

Mule deer doe.

Mule deer yearling buck.

Mule deer buck (yearling)

Mule deer duo.
Mule deer pair.

I have always thought the mule deer choose to live where they do because of the scenery. They like high open places with great views to the south. This is the view of the Nine Mile drainage that these two enjoy every day. About a mile to the left of where the photo was taken is the edge of the Reservation Divide roadless area. (For perspective, the photo was taken at 6,000 feet elevation, and the sharp peak at the skyline, center, is 20 miles away and 7,400 feet.)

Nine mile drainage.

Nine Mile drainage.


  1. Wow those are some fabulous shots! Isn’t he a handsome fellow? I’ve seen a few whitetails this year (and a group of mulie’s run up the hill by katy creek that my pup chased off) his hide is fascinating to me. Now the fact that you could gain such a photo that I could consider his hide is great! But that thickness around his neck is interesting to say the least… I’ve never seen that over here (i’m sure of it) not even on a yearling. great shots. (by the way over here they also range in the same places – usually in very high, very thick forested areas.)


    Comment by aullori — June 12, 2007 @ 10:30 am

  2. Yes, that neck hair is unusual. His mother doesn’t look like that at all. His sides seem to have longer than usual hair too. Perhaps it’s a winter-to-summer change type of thing.


    Comment by montucky — June 12, 2007 @ 11:54 am

  3. It would be nice to think that the deer and other critters do appreciate the scenery and aren’t just living where they are out of instinct or utilitarian need.



    Comment by knightofswords — June 12, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

  4. Yes, it would. The elk were originally prairie animals who have been forced to move into the mountains. White-tails seem to adapt to all kinds of different terrain, and get along quite well close to habitations. At least around here though, the Mulies seems to have fairly specific parameters for their homesites, and I think they are well chosen, too. Even if they don’t enjoy the scenery there, I sure do.


    Comment by montucky — June 12, 2007 @ 4:55 pm

  5. Wow those are cute. I have seen some deer here at my game farm in Long Island. They are very friendly. I love them.


    Comment by mike — December 14, 2008 @ 4:26 pm

  6. We have lots of white-tails around here, but for a time, the mulies were pretty scarce. I’m very pleased to see the mule deer making a nice come back now.


    Comment by montucky — December 14, 2008 @ 8:57 pm

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