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Black-tailed deer

Black-tailed deer, Curry Village, Yosemite

Odocoileus hemionusBlack-tailed deer or Blacktail deer inhabit approximately 75% of California’s wildlands. I photographed the buck (with rack in “velvet“) above while he was enjoying dinner in a meadow by Curry Village in Yosemite Valley. This doe was grazing (her fawn is hidden) in a meadow along the Estero Trail at Point Reyes National Seashore. This doe and fawn were grazing near China Cove in Point Lobos State Reserve.

The Black-tailed deer is very adaptable. Of the 60 or greater natural vegetation types that exist west of the 100th meridian in the United States, all but two or three are or once were occupied by the Black-tailed deer. In addition, habitat types that do not occur in the United States, including deciduous vegetation at the tip of Baja California in Mexico, and a number of hapitat types in Canada, are also inhabited by Black-tailed deer.

The color of the Black-tailed deer can range from dark brown gray, dark and light ash-gray to brown and even reddish. The species is polygynous, with a dominant male attending a female in estrus until either mating occurs, or he is replaced by a more dominant male.

Detailed information about most aspects of Black-tailed deer is present at the Animal Diversity Web link of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

In California, you can even find Black-tailed deer in golf course habitats (probably not the most healthful) in Monterey, Pacific Grove, and Pebble Beach.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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