03 June 2005

Deer Tag

These yearling blacktails are keeping close tabs on the local predators.

Oh, deer

Actually, they are eyeing my two cats, which were spending the day in the dog run. I spotted this tableaux as I was walking past the window, so I grabbed my camera and started snapping pictures thru the glass. Digital photography is wonderful!!!

I live in a rural area, and my landlord has planted several acres of the property to Christmas trees. The local troop of blacktail deer often wander near the house or browse the broadleaf weeds that flourish among the baby firs.

A few days back, I was watching three or four does and these two young bucks as they grazed along the far side of the tree field. It was the first really sunny afternoon we had had, after two weeks or so of rain, and the yearlings were having a hard time concentrating on food.

They were browsing close together, and occasionally poking each other with a nose or forefoot. Suddenly one took off running, with the other chasing him full tilt down the length of the field. They disappeared from view down into the ravine along the end, and then burst out again on the near side, racing along in front of the house and back into the field, stopping only when they had nearly reached the does.

I laughed out loud watching them, because they looked just like two kids playing tag in the park.

They stood a few moments straddle-legged, catching their breath and eyeing each other, while the does looked on idly and crunched juicy leaves. Then the one who had been "it" the first time whirled around and lit out for the far corner, the second one in hot pursuit, across and down and around and back again. A pause for breath, a feint or two, and then off they'd go, over and over. Their energy and exuberance were marvelous!

The game continued for maybe ten minutes before they got tired and called it quits. By that time the does were moving slowly across the gravel road into the grove of trees on the far side, and the yearlings followed.

There is no doubt in my mind that these two were having a great deal of fun, and I'm really glad I got to watch them!


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