Colorado Mule Deer

The above photo was taken of a Colorado mule deer doe and her baby out our front window.  These are beautiful animals.  Wildlife in Colorado is fun to watch and take pictures of.

The deer got their name from a rather large set of ears.  Can you imagine what the pioneers of the old west thought when they saw this strange-looking deer?

Some basic mule deer info:

* Their coats change from brown in the summer to gray in the winter.

We watch them closely at the end of the summer, and if they are starting to turn, we look for an early and wet winter.

* The deer breed in November and give birth in May or June.

We see that a young doe will only have one fawn, but after she is older, twins are the norm for these girls.

I remember one Thanksgiving, I was out stringing Christmas lights on our front porch and I heard something crunch behind me.

As I continued to hum carols, I turned around and a lovely doe was watching me about 3 feet away.

I said Hi to her and kept stringing and humming.  Soon she moved off down the hill.

I kept on with my work, heard the crunch again and thought the lady had returned.

Nope.  When I turned around, there was a huge buck, neck snaked out and heading past me with one thought on his mind.

I slowly backed to the front door and let myself in.  I didn’t want to be attacked by a rutting buck!  The boys can be very dangerous at that time of year.

* During the summer, the deer head for higher, cooler elevations.  In winter, they move down to lower, warmer weather.

We have had the same herd of doe almost as long as we have lived on our mountain.  Consisting of about 8-12 ladies and their little ones, they stay around our property year round.

The descendants of the older doe continue to frequent territory they are familiar with.  It isn’t unusual for them to be grazing in the summer when my husband and I are working on some outdoor project.

They are very use to us, we talk to them while we go about our work and the deer don’t seem to mind us.  New babies, however, tend to bounce all over the place if we take a step in their direction.

When we have very harsh winters, I will find our mule deer lying up against the base of the house, on the south side, to take in some of the warmth from the basement vents.

Hunting is allowed from September through November by permit only, and these deer are on the list.

A few years ago, some yahoo hunters were driving around our area and saw our herd of mule deer covering our property.

They had the nerve to drive up and ask me if they could shoot a few deer and take photos of their trophies to show the boys back home.  They were even going to pay me!

I don’t have to tell you what I said and did.  Basically, trespassing is a big no no, as is harming wildlife on private property.

So there you have our up close and personal story of one of our wild visitors.  We have had many more encounters with Colorado wildlife in our history living in the state.