My family recently took a weekend trip to the Sierra foothills. While on a walk, my daughter and I saw lots of black-tailed deer, including these guys.
I looked up some facts about black-tailed deer. They’re a type of mule deer, which is kind of obvious when you see their really big ears. They live in Northern California (clearly) as well as Oregon, Washington, BC, and Alaska. They like forest edges–which is pretty much where we found these guys. Who also are fond of the nearby golf course. According to Wikipedia, they’ll eat poison oak, which is interesting.
According to this hunting article, these deer are secretive. I guess the ones I saw haven’t read the article. I mean, really. Does this look secretive to you? They were almost close enough to touch. And when we waited patiently for them to cross in front of us so we could continue up the sidewalk, they just stood there. If they manage to hide from hunters, their average lifespan is 22 years.
Deer feature in lots of mythology. My favorite is the Hindu goddess of learning, Saraswati. She sometimes takes the form of a deer, so traditionally scholars sat on deerskin mats. I bet my students wish they could learn through their asses too.