Lost and found

The local deer herd wanders through the back yard several times a week.  There are three bucks of different sizes, all of which still have their antlers, and six good-sized does.  With one exception, they all seem to have come through the winter looking very healthy.  The exception looks a bit skinny and has a mangy coat — but will probably survive, since winter seems to have given up its hold here.

white-tailed deer bucks-

The two largest bucks seem to get along well, and I often seen them together, browsing or dozing in the sun. The bigger of the two (on the left) has a bigger rack and seems a bit beefier, or perhaps just didn’t lose as much weight over the winter as the other buck (in back).

This might be the same pair I observed hanging around together last December. They did some friendly sparring, but usually were quite docile around each other.

white-tailed deer bucks-

Big Buck does not like Little Buck however, and usually gives him a head butt or a threatening glance.

This is the time of year when bucks lose part or all of their antlers, as a zone of separation between their skull and the antler bone begins to break down and the connection is loosened.  The tangle of vegetation the deer wander through might be enough to dislodge a loosened antler, although I have never found any piece of an antler out in the part of the way backyard the deer inhabit.

white-tailed deer-

Does on high alert…as workmen (in yellow and orange) enter the far backyard to dredge out the ponds there.

The other day some workmen interrupted the deer herd’s exploration of my backyard, and the entire herd bolted.  Some ran up the hill toward the neighbor’s house, and one buck came galloping up toward my garage on a dead run headed for the front yard.  Now there is only a narrow three foot gap between the garage and some lilac bushes, but Mr. Buck must have negotiated the gap quickly because I didn’t even see him after his mad dash.  But look what he left behind.

white-tailed deer antler-

Either he hit the bushes or the side of the garage with his antler and it popped off.

white-tailed deer antler separation point-

A tiny spot of blood on the separation point of the antler, but it was obviously ready to be dropped.

white-tailed deer buck-

I’m guessing it might have been the medium-sized buck’s antler based on its size, but don’t know for sure.

white-tailed deer antler-

Your loss, Mr. Buck. But I think I’ll keep what I found.

2 thoughts on “Lost and found

  1. That’s really cool, Sue. I’ve always wanted to find a dropped antler and it’s amazing that you found one so freshly dropped. It’s good to see that “your” deer survived the winter reasonably well. I may be getting a little soft as I get older, but I am amazed that wild creatures are able to make it through the harsh winters there.

    • I’ve always wanted to find an antler, and been amazed that there were none to be found despite all the bucks wandering through the back 40. So this was a treat.

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