Montana Outdoors

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

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February 28, 2015

Mule deer buck ~ B & W conversion

I seldom participate in challenges, but Maurice at i AM Safari invited me to post in the current Black & White challenge and I have a photograph that is so similar in its essence to the one that he posted from half the world away that I simply had to post it.

When I was a kid growing up here in western Montana in the mid 40’s, we lived near the edge of town and about a mile away from our house (within my permissible roaming distance) there was a large section of natural prairie which in the spring was very nicely decorated by a profusion of wildflowers, most notably the state flower of Montana, the Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva). The Bitterroot has always been considered a valuable plant to the native Salish and Kootenai Indian tribes who cooked and ate the roots and large numbers of tribal members came from the nearby Flathead Indian Reservation each spring to camp and harvest roots on that section of prairie. They were very friendly people and were quite pleased to let a little kid like me help them with their harvest, and that became a real highlight for me every spring.

Sadly, that special place has now long been buried under the asphalt , concrete, and brick and mortar of commercial development that some folks call “progress” and Bitterroots have become very scarce. They do still bloom in places on the Reservation though (although not in great numbers), and each June I visit there to see and photograph the flowers.

Bitterroot ~ Lewisia rediviva

Bitterroot ~ Lewisia rediviva

In June of 2011 a couple of miles from where I had been photographing Bitterroots I encountered a beautiful young Mule deer buck and was able to capture one of my favorite photos of that species, and probably the only photo in my entire library that I think looks fairly decent as a black and white conversion: a native mulie, perfectly at home in his natural habitat, wondering who or what I am and if I really belong there too.

Mule deer ~ Odocoileus hemionus

Mule deer ~ Odocoileus hemionus

October 25, 2010

Favorite face

Filed under: Animals, Mule deer — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:07 pm

Of all of the wildlife in this area, I think the Mule deer has the prettiest face:

Mule deer doe

Now you see her…

Mule deer (hiding)

now you don’t!

March 24, 2010

Mule deer

Mule deer

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

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