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.

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And a little Bad Lands landscape…

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Snorkeling and Jellyfish Encounters…

I’ve already shared about my jellyfish encounter, just in case you missed it you can read about it here

These pictures were taken our third day in Cancun.  I was very proud (and nervous) with myself for venturing out without my hubby and just going with one of the other wives that were down there.  Both of husbands work for the same company, so while they were stuck in meetings we went out, got a bit of sun, and a whole lot of adventure!

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Lori and I being goofy…

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My husband gifted me with a waterproof camera for Christmas to use on our trip…P1000223

The water that day was very rough and we had a pretty good wind blowing too, so things were stirred up a bit…P1000233

We did see a Barracuda though!P1000235 P1000261 P1000268

Then our trip was rudely interrupted when something hit my arm and it instantly felt like it was on fire!  It felt like someone had taken a curling iron to my arm.  It took quite a while for arm to even turn red.  I think everyone thought I was crazy!  I have given birth 8 times and this was ranking right up there on the pain scale.  I was trying not to cry and wig out!  By the time we got back to shore, we could see the streaks on my arm and found out that it was indeed a jelly fish sting.  My hand started to turn blue and I was really, really trying not to freak out, I just wanted my hubby to be there.  However, Lori did an awesome job of trying to warm me up, getting a cab, and not letting me freak out!

The owner of the scuba place dept telling me how this was a freak deal because it was too cold for the jelly fish this time of year and that the resent storms and wind must have blown one in.  When I we were back at the hotel, one place gave a statistic of your chances of being stung of 1 in 250,000 during the peak season!  In fact, I had a better chance of dying in a car crash on the way to the airport!P1000295

The next day…photo 2 (5)

Despite everyone’s great advice about drinking lots tequila and crown, (hey, I was desperate and for a while, I didn’t feel  much and laughed way too much! 😉 and I don’t normally drink a lot  but we were in Mexico!), my arm was still in quite a bit of pain.  (Duh! Right? It always seems like a good idea at the time…)  I tried a bunch of different salves, creams and balms on my arm,  but nothing seemed to work, but good ole time.  We spent the rest of our vacation checking out some of the Mayan ruins, cenotes and on our last day in Mexico, my hubby still really wanted to go snorkeling.  I figured it would be like being struck by lightning twice, right?!

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We made it through unscathed, even after sea weed hit my neck…I about walked on water!  And I was so glad that we did go, it was so beautiful!  The water was much more calm and clear, and it was very fun to be able to try out my little camera.  Best of all I was able to spend the afternoon with my hubby.

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My arm got a bit better each day, until we flew home and then….

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My body went into over-drive producing histamines!  I started to blister all around my arm.  I started itching like CRAZY, like I wanted to take a wire brush to my arm.  I finally broke down and went to Urgent Care, of course in Montana they don’t take care of many people with jelly fish stings!  They put me on 5 different drugs to bring the histamine levels down, stop the itching and a steroid to boot!  About a week later I was feeling much better!

This is my arm as of today, 6 weeks after the sting…

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No more pain or itching, just the marks and a fun story to tell about them!  😉

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