Mule Deer

 

We spotted this big mule deer while in South Dakota and the Bad Lands a few years ago…

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Where do mule deer live?

Mule deer and black-tailed deer (collectively called mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus) are icons of the American West. They are distributed throughout western North America from the coastal islands of Alaska, down the West Coast to southern Baja Mexico and from the northern border of the Mexican state of Zacatecas, up through the Great Plains to the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the southern Yukon Territory.

What do mule deer eat?

Mule deer are primarily browsers, with a majority of their diet comprised of forbs (weeds) and browse (leaves and twigs of woody shrubs).

Deer digestive tracts differ from cattle and elk in that they have a smaller rumen in relation to their body size, so they must be more selective in their feeding. Instead of eating large quantities of low-quality feed like grass, deer must select the most nutritious plants and parts of plants.

Because of this, deer have more specific forage requirements than larger ruminants.

Why is mule deer and black-tailed deer habitat conservation necessary?

The MDF’s mission is necessary due to loss of habitat, predators, poaching, highways crossing through the middle of transitional ranges, and subdivisions being built on winter ranges.

Only landscape-scale conservation efforts can make long-term gains in mule deer abundance in many areas.

What does a mule deer look like?

Mule deer are generally easy to identify due to their large mule-like ears (generally 3/4 the length of the head).

They usually have a distinctive black forehead, or mask, that contrasts sharply with a light grey face. The lighter facial coloration makes the eye rings and muzzle markings seem less obvious.

Mule deer are brownish-gray in color, have a white rump patch and a small white tail with a black tip.

How long do mule deer live?

Mule deer usually live 9-11 years in the wild and can live to be much older when in captivity.

How big are mule deer?

Mule deer range from 3 to 3-1/2 feet tall at the shoulder, 4-1/2 to 7 feet long and have a tail that is 5 to 8 inches long. They can weigh between 130-280 pounds. The female deer are smaller than the male.

For more information visit here...

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And a little Bad Lands landscape…

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Nature Notes

A Morning Camping…

While camping in Grand Tetons, we were able to see this mighty Bull Moose, I’ve posted other pics of him here…

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Before spotting him though, Mark and I were outside, blissfully enjoying our first cup of hot coffee for the morning,  It was one of the more cool mornings we had at Gros Ventre campground.  A car stopped beside our trailer and parked on the road.  It was a bit strange because the road was closed just a bit down the road.  The guy finally got out with his camera and gear, which perked my interest!  We grabbed our camera’s and woke up our oldest and let her know we were going on a walk.  In just a couple of steps up and out of campsite and to the other side of the road we could see what made the other guy stop…

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What we thought were two mule deer bucks, ended up being three!

1We hung out for a while there and noticed another guy walking right past the deer, with a huge camera.  We decided to follow him just a little ways which led to…

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This is what we came back to at the campsite…

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The kids roasting mini-marshmallows around the fire…  🙂IMG_5259

What a wonderful way to start the day!

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Nature Notes

Rurality Blog Hop #43

Sunday Serenity…

 

Mule Deer Buck
Mule Deer Buck

 

 (Eph 2:4 ESV) – But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

(Eph 2:5 ESV) – even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–

(Eph 2:6 ESV) – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

(Eph 2:7 ESV) – so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

 (Eph 2:8 ESV) – For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

(Eph 2:9 ESV) – not a result of works, so that no one may boast.