Sunday, December 23, 2007

Battle Scarred Mule Deer



Light snow was falling when I saw this beautiful buck. He was searching under the snow for food and came up with some unidentifiable plant material. The puncture wound by his eye looks like it will heal. Had the tine on his rival's antlers gone in any closer to the eye, he probably would have lost the eye. He has scars on his neck and chest as well, but he looks like he may make it through the year if he stays out of trouble. A couple of does and three young deer were following him, so perhaps he was the victor in one of his battles. I've seen a larger buck in the area and wonder if some of the scars on this one came from fighting the big guy.

6 comments:

Wren said...

Seriously great photos, Con! He has such an interesting face, very different from our white-tail deer here in the east. I noticed that first, even before the ears. And the antlers have a very different look, too. Is that patch of dark, calloused-looking skin between the eyes and antlers typical of the breed?

Con Daily said...

Thanks, wren. Both the bucks and does usually have a dark patch on the forehead. I think the bucks may rub much of the hair off that area fighting during rut. I love their expessive looks as they swivel and point the ears in almost any direction. And yes, the antlers do branch differently. Great observations!

Moe said...

These are great photos! The entire blog has great stuff!

Con Daily said...

Thanks, Moe. I've been reading and enjoying your blog, Iowa Voice, too.

tracywall said...

Truly amazing! I would have mistaken the eye thing as snow. What great observations! Adds more to the story behind the photos!

Con Daily said...

Thanks, Tracy. In the full size version of these images you wouldn't mistake the wound for snow. I try to size the images for quick and easy viewing on the web, but sometimes wish I could post them full size.