Montana Outdoors

September 11, 2017

Denizen of the log deck

Filed under: Animals — Tags: , — montucky @ 11:20 am

Cottontail

This little Cottontail has been hanging out right next to the log deck lately. After I have cut all of the wood that I will need for this winter there will still be a lot of logs left. I will cover them to keep the snow off and that will create a wonderfully safe, dry shelter where he will most likely live all winter.

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July 13, 2017

A small measure of cuteness on a hot summer day

Filed under: Animals, White-tail deer — Tags: — montucky @ 7:52 pm

Whitetail fawn

Every once in awhile every summer a whitetail doe brings her fawn (or fawns) into my side yard for some free babysitting. She will leave for several hours and then return for the little one. She must somehow understand that the baby will be safe here while she is gone and there is plenty of clover to eat and access to a good supply of fresh water (that I always keep for the birds).

March 26, 2016

Made it through the winter

Filed under: Animals, Bighorn sheep — Tags: , , — montucky @ 8:44 pm

Rocky Mountain Big Horn

Now to get some of that weight back!

January 8, 2016

Mule deer

Filed under: Animals, Mule deer, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 8:17 pm

Behind the local Ranger Station there is a half-section of land that rises for a mile up a fairly open south-facing slope that is used as a summer pasture for the Forest Service pack horses and mules and also as a protected winter range for a sizable herd of mule deer. Yesterday A friend called to tell me that she had recently hiked through the area and found that the deer spending the winter there were fairly mellow and could be approached to within camera range, and so today we went back to get a few photos. Here are some that I brought back, all taken with a 70-300mm lens.

Mule deer doe

Mule deer doe feeding

Inquisitive

Inquisitive

There's a sound in the wind

There’s a sound in the wind

Ears above he grass

Ears above the grass

Sounds coming from two places

Sounds coming from two places

Let's talk this over

Let’s talk this over

Don't get up

Don’t bother to get up

Aware but unconcerned

Aware but not concerned

Should I jump, or...

Should I jump, or…

Snychronized

Synchronized

Protective

Protective

Curious

Curious

The herd

Part of the herd

June 11, 2015

Hiding in plain sight: Mule deer fawn

This time of year when the new young of most animal species begin to appear, it is very common for those of us who live here in western Montana to see the fawns of White tail deer. Not quite so commonly seen are Mule deer fawns, and so it was a treat for me to encounter one today. I left early this morning for a hike up to the old look out on Big Hole Peak, and at about the mid point of the trail I saw a beautiful Mule deer doe ahead of me on the trail and I watched her bounce on up the trail then disappear on the mountainside. After another dozen or so strides I discovered this little fawn which I would guess to be no more than a week or two old.

For many thousands of years an apparently successful escape strategy for fawns is to lie flat on the ground, as flat as they can get, and stay absolutely still, which is what this little one was doing, and because they have no scent at that age predators normally will not find them. Usually this happens in tall grass on a hillside or meadow or among downed timber or other disruptions in the landscape, but when this little fellow went into “hide mode”, it did so right in the middle of the trail. I took a few quick photos and circled far around the little one to continue on up the trail, leaving it undisturbed and still completely motionless. Hopefully, next time this fawn won’t try to hide again in plain sight.

Mule deer fawn (hiding)

Mule deer fawn

Mule deer fawn

Mule deer fawn, Odocoileus hemionus

Hiding in plain sight: Black Bear

Black Bears have not really acquired protective camouflage as so many other animals have, resorting mostly to their resemblance from a distance to a fire-charred log or a black colored rock or even a deep shadow in the forest. This fellow however seems to have successfully hidden himself from some folks in almost the exact center of the photo in my previous post.

American Black Bear

American Black Bear, Ursus americanus

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