Black-Tailed Deer

This gallery contains 4 photos. Seeing wild deer in Metro Vancouver is a rarity, especially as more green is increasingly converted into grey. Our forest of a backyard is more likely to attract birds, squirrels, raccoons, and (very occasionally) neighborhood cats. We have yet to lose a single flower or vegetable to these browsers. Even trips to the local mountains (Grouse, Seymour, Cypress) have never yielded any encounters with said wildlife (I have had more luck with wild black bears in Coquitlam).

© WHSIM Blacktail Deer Faun (older).jpg
one of the older siblings (probably a two-year old) with a hint of a smile on its face
f/5.6, 1/160, 174mm, ISO 200

I have only ever glimpsed deer at the Maplewood Conservation Area in North Vancouver, which is managed by the Wild Bird Trust, and is composed of 310 acres of wildlife habitat (of which 74 acres is land). I hit the jackpot during my most recent visit to MCA on August 28. In a small clearing, feeding not 30 feet from each other on opposite sides of the trail (and, at times, less than 5 feet away from a small handful of photographers) were two families of blacktail deer.

© WHSIM Blacktail Deer Family (front).jpg
one of the does — the one with a lame leg (center) with the younger fawn (left)
f/5.6, 1/160, 186mm, ISO 200

Each family of three had fawns of different ages (shattering my personally-held myth that young deer eventually leave their mothers when they are full grown). No one was sporting antlers–the father (or fathers) of these fawns were obviously not present. One of the does was visibly limping, though. What really amazed me was how close the does let their fawns approach us (black bears and bobcats have been known to frequent the forested section of MCA). One fawn was happily bounding in a Bambi-esque manner through the forest as its older sibling and its mother were browsing. Clearly, they knew we were not predators.

© WHSIM Blacktail Deer Faun (younger).jpg
no falsies are necessary — because Bambi has naturally long eyelashes!
f/6.3, 1/250, 289mm, ISO 640

For one magical hour, these two families continued to play and dine at the all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-reach vegetarian buffet, while ignoring the four photographers who watched and captured their every move (and that’s exactly how it should be!) It’s easy to forget that suburbia is just a few minutes away when you’re at the edge of the forest, communing with nature like this.

© WHSIM Blacktail Deer Family (rear).jpg
so concludes this tale/tail! it’s time to move on. 🙂
f/5, 1/125, 150mm, ISO 400

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18 thoughts on “Black-Tailed Deer

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