Montana Outdoors

March 24, 2010

Mule deer

Mule deer

They are named that because of the size of their ears.



  1. What an inquisitive, cute guy!


    Comment by Candace — March 25, 2010 @ 12:58 am

    • That curiosity doesn’t serve them very well when it comes to people.


      Comment by montucky — March 25, 2010 @ 8:16 am

  2. Thanks for explaining their name,.. i’ve always wondered why. Looks like that deer and you had a eye to eye meeting!


    Comment by Cedar — March 25, 2010 @ 9:07 am

    • We did at that. Sometimes they are very shy, other times they let me get quite close.


      Comment by montucky — March 25, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

  3. The beautiful Mule Deer. I first encountered them when I interned at Olympic National Park in 1981. They looked funny to the eastern white-tails I grew up with. Those ears are a hoot!


    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — March 25, 2010 @ 9:31 am

    • There are more white tails around than mulies, but there are several spots here that have lots of both.


      Comment by montucky — March 25, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

  4. It certainly had the high ground from which to check you out. Nice pose.


    Comment by DaveABirding — March 25, 2010 @ 9:36 am

    • High ground is right. That hillside is extremely steep, just how they like it.


      Comment by montucky — March 25, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

  5. I didn’t know that! Thanks Terry – looks like s/he was posing just for you!

    PS: Thanks for the supportive comments – always appreciated!


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — March 25, 2010 @ 11:12 am

  6. Aren’t there two in the shot? We have the reddish white tailed ones here. I like the big ears!


    Comment by Sandy — March 25, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

    • Yes, the other is behind the tree. There were six in this group but this gal stayed behind to watch me. Those ears are fantastic at picking up sounds!


      Comment by montucky — March 25, 2010 @ 6:12 pm

  7. Wow… those ARE some ears. I never knew there was such a thing. We only have white tail. (at least that I know of). This is your usual beautiful wildlife capture… nice!


    Comment by kcjewel — March 25, 2010 @ 10:32 pm

    • We have lots of white-tails too, but the Mule Deer is a western species. About a dozen years ago they had quite low numbers but now have been doing a lot better.


      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2010 @ 8:45 am

  8. That is a neat capture of the big-eared inquisitive deer. Amazing you got a shot. I’m used to the white tail and I don’t get very close as they run and leap fences. I do like those big ears!


    Comment by Anna Surface — March 26, 2010 @ 5:53 am

    • Two days ago I ran into a dozen Mulies and about thirty white-tails. Mostly because I’m outdoors so much I will at times get very close to members of both species. Each time is very special.


      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2010 @ 8:48 am

  9. With the coloring of both the deer and the background, it’s almost camouflaged here.



    Comment by knightofswords — March 26, 2010 @ 7:33 am

    • This was a lucky opportunity because the area between the deer and me was clear. If they are screened by the brush they are nearly invisible. Many times I have spotted them only because they flicked a fly off on of those huge ears. Their coloring also blends into the brown/gray grasses in the open grassy areas on south-facing slopes where they spend most of the winter.


      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2010 @ 8:52 am

  10. Look at those ears…


    Comment by Preston — March 31, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

    • That size gives them an edge that helps their survival. I’m sure you would enjoy seeing them run, too. They do a four footed bounce as though there were springs on their feet. It’s lovely to see!


      Comment by montucky — March 31, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

  11. Lovely shot. You are really lucky one, when capturing it. I like the name history very much.


    Comment by sartenada — March 31, 2010 @ 11:07 pm

    • I see these often, but cannot always get pictures. This is my favorite deer.


      Comment by montucky — April 1, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

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