At the 1:20 time mark I startle a mule deer doe.
Recently have learned a lot about mule deer thanks to a Nature special and then some follow-up. It is claimed that unlike the white tail that overpopulate their range the mule deer deserves a threatened status. Unlike the aproximately 3,000,000 year old white tail species the mule deer supposedly evolved only about 15,000 years ago which is just about the same time human hunters started leaving their mark in the new world. They are extremely wary and do not adapt well to changes having matriarchal societies with ingrained behavior and migratory patterns. It is not genetic memory but rather the unborn have functioning hearing in the womb so they are born somewhat acclimated their family group which comprises the herd around them. Once born they learn more from the herd
So attempts to relocate and foster new herds usually fail because their is no cumulative herd knowledge gleaned over generations of seasonal feeding grounds, local predator aversion, etc. They just can’t figure it out on their own and die.
A decade or so ago an extensive nearby subdivision development cut off historic access to winter feeding areas with devastating results on what was formerly several large herds. Previously I would spook groups of up to fifty or so while out motorcycling the hills. After the development started I figured I would see more mule deer around my place as some get displaced in my direction but I’m not sure that ever happened.
I like the mule deer, so what if they eat my strawberries, peaches and apples.
I do draw the line at munching the wife's roses and tomatoes. A tall fence separates those delicacies from the Muley’s ancestral feeding grounds which I sometimes refer to as my yard.
Hunter? Naw, I just feed ‘em...unintentionally.
Then the dogs end up bringing back enough misc. legs that I conclude that there must be either a centipede deer out there somewhere or the region has high losses from winter kill and predation.
I do like venison though! So do other visitors. The Game Camera is from Dryden T-Dub who is helping me try to photo the cougar who leaves tracks here occasionally. So far that stealthy ghost cat has walked right by the camera twice leaving tracks in the snow without triggering the game camera. I think the puma has seem me a lot more times than I have seen him or her.
I did the Grassman family enduro in 2018 and the Peacepipe family enduro in 2019.
Information for this year is here:
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