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June 2012




Columere Park, Fairmont Hot Springs 
 British Columbia, Canada
Photo, July 5, 2010




  White Tailed Deer Fawn in My Front Yard
Columere Park, Fairmont Hot Springs 
 British Columbia, Canada
September 6, 2006











Digital Photography by Elaine Sell Prefontaine 




WHITE TAILED DEER - Odocoileus virginianus

White-tailed deer are named for the bright white undersides of their tails.  When they are alarmed they raise their tails, like flags, flashing the sign of danger to other nearby dear.  Hence they are also called "Flag-tailed Deer".

They are known for their beauty and grace.  Especially noteworthy are the beautifully patterned dappled spots on the young fawns which serve as a camouflage in the forest.

Since fawn are usually born in late May or early June, the pretty little fawn in these photos is approximately three months of age.  Within twenty minutes of birth the fawn is able to wobbly walk behind its mother to a safe place in the woods where it will sit camouflaged and motionless for three to four days to gain its strength.

It is common for the doe to give birth to one to three fawns.  Twins are common.  Below is a photo I snapped of my little apple eater with its twin.

They have keen hearing and an excellent sense of smell.  Although they can spot the slightest movement they are almost color blind, seeing everything in shades of grey. 

Their main predators are wolves, mountain lions and human beings.  Smaller fawns are often killed by coyotes. 

Males and females live separately with child rearing being left to the doe.  Doe fawns stay with the mother for up to a year, while young males (bucks) leave to be on their own after a few months.  

An outstanding feature of the buck white-tailed deer is the set of solid bone antlers it grows every year. Each year till the age of five he grows an increasingly larger set of antlers with more points.  These are shed each fall and re-grown each spring

I first developed an affection for white-tailed deer when, growing up on the prairies of Saskatchewan.  You may wish to read my poem on the  "Prairie Days Poetry" Page, titled "THIS EVE" .

White-tailed deer are very common in this East Kootenay area of British Columbia and although masters at avoiding detection, when they wish, they locally frequent my yard all year around, bedding down under the trees in the winter.  These beautiful creatures can cause a lot of damage in local yards as they have acquired very expensive appetites.  In my own yard, they satisfy their taste buds by feeding on cedar, larch and ornamental crab trees,  hollyhocks, tulips, apples and carrots, so where possible I put up netting and fencing.   It is illegal  to feed them, but that is not a concern in this area as they do a fine job on their own, helping themselves to "tasty home grown morsels".

Their appearance of such delicate beauty and tameness can be misleading, causing us to sometimes forget they are wild creatures who can be dangerous, rearing up on their hind legs and kicking when provoked.  It has been reported that White-tailed deer are responsible for more human fatalities in North America then are caused by bears.  Also, often when they bolt across our highways, not only is the deer tragically killed, but the driver of the automobile or motorcycle is fatally injured as well.  


Mule Deer
 Findlay Creek Area, Purcell Mountains, British Columbia, Canada
Digital Photos, November 2004






MULE DEER - Odocoileus hemionus

Mule deer  are very common in this East Kootenay Area of Southeastern British Columbia.  

Upon viewing the above photos we can see how well their coloring blends into the landscape.  Their coloring changes with the seasons and when they stand perfectly still in a thicket they are camouflaged.  In the summer they are reddish or yellowish brown and in the winter they are grayish. 

Mule deer possess a number of traits which make them easily identifiable.  One can recognize them by their huge black, independently moving, fringed ears --- hence the name Mule Deer, or "Mulies" for short.  Another key identification factor is the black tip on the end of their narrow white tails.

They also have a unique way of pushing off on all fours at once, in a stiff legged bounce, then landing on all fours in the same way.  This pogo stick fashion of bounding is called "stotting" or "pronking".    Although they can also walk, trot and gallop, stotting is their trademark gate.




For  BIG HORN SHEEP PHOTOS AND INFORMATION please click on the following:


 Engravings & Relief Sculptures on Purcell Mountain Slate Stone

Nature Notes

     Totems, Signs and Lore



Please click above photo link to view six  photos on Bison Page.





Please click above photo link to view nine  photos on Moose Page.



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