Montana Outdoors

March 17, 2009

A small, private census

Filed under: Animals, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures, White-tail deer, Winter — montucky @ 7:32 pm

Of white-tails, that is.

A friend mentioned recently that he thought that there seems to be fewer deer around than there have been in previous years and just to satisfy my own curiosity I took my own small census today in an area of low hills above some large alfalfa fields where I often take long walks while deep snow limits the access into the high country.

My route was that of an irregular circle of about five miles following sporadic deer and elk trails, some of which are the wildlife version of super-highways. After sighting just over a hundred white-tails I quit counting and that was quite a distance before the half-way point of my tour.

The day was mostly cloudy with a little breeze and the sky occasionally spit a little snow. Most of the deer were in groups of six to eight, but I saw several groups of twenty or more. For perhaps twenty minutes I watched one group of twenty-two on a gentle hillside just above me and about fifty yards distant, and when I stirred and they made their departure, four more that had been in thicker brush nearby joined the group.

Four hours of sauntering around, sighting well over two hundred deer, and to me something highly significant after a colder than usual winter, I found not even one winter-kill! The white-tails in that small area at least had a great winter!

White-tail country

White-tail country

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