Mule Deer Group

Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are social animals that typically stay in groups. Females and their offspring form multi-generational herds. Only during the fawning season do these familial groups temporarily disperse. Bucks and young males either remain single or group together through most of the year. In the late fall and winter the family groups sometimes form larger aggregations for protection during the winter.

Mule deer also have a habit, when escaping from perceived danger, of stopping and turning around to look at their pursuer.

Leonard and I recently came upon a large herd of mule deer along the Wildflower Trail at Ash Creek Wildlife Area (Lassen County CA). The deer moved off a little way then stood and watched us as we walkedย  past. They did not appear overly concerned by our presence. We feel so fortunate to have these beautiful animals as part of our daily lives.

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8 Responses to Observers

  1. tonytomeo says:

    What big ears they have.

  2. Jim says:

    While conducting a composition count (ratio of age classes) on Mule deer near Dry Lake Station I counted over 120 does and fawns in one group. And it was one herd. That would have been around 1963, in January or February. I have never seen anything of this size again.

    • gingkochris says:

      Impressive! My “record” was driving down County Road 87 a couple years ago when I was stopped by a herd of pronghorn crossing the road. I counted over 300 animals – and many crossed before I began to count. I sat there for at least ten minutes while the pronghorn filed across the road.

  3. usermattw says:

    Beautiful picture!

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