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Mule Deer near the Ram River # 2823

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Date: 2002.08.10
Vantage Point: From Ram River quad trail

Caption: A mule deer doe ([i]Odocoileus hemionus[/i])

PhotoDescr: The search for the intersection of the 52nd north parallel of latitude and the 116th W line of longitude brought Guy Germain and me to the upper valley of the Ram River. Just after the second ford of the Ram, I spotted a deer standing absolutely motionless and staring at us in the brush west of the trail, about 25 meters away. I carefully got out my camera; the deer never moved. I was just wondering if it was perhaps a dummy set up to catch poachers when three other deer bounded out of concealment not 10 meters from us. The one in the photo paused while the others disappeared into the trees.

The mule deer can be distinguished from the similar white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) by their tails and ears. The mule deer, as can be seen clearly here, has a white tail with a black tip, and large ears. Strangely enough, the white tail has a wider, brown tail with white fringes, which shows completely white when flipped up. Its ears are smaller. The antlers also differ, but are no help in distinguishing between does of the two species.

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