After two months living in the Foothills the Black Tailed Deer have become an extended part of our Golden K family. The most prominent are three bucks who come down twice a day; first thing in the morning and again in the late afternoon. Because we’re silly humans (and suburbanite transplants still giddy at the fact that the deer come to “visit”) we named the three bucks within the first few days of moving in.
The smallest and presumably youngest of the three bucks is called Kicker because of his propensity to kick the other two out of the way. We call the medium size buck Buddy after a friend with the same nickname who is a very slow and deliberate person. He never seems to be in a hurray to get anywhere. The first few times we watched this buck he seemed to lallygag his way down and back up the hill, taking his time and stopping often to just look around. And so he quickly became Buddy. Finally there’s Scratcher who is the largest of the three. He’s named Scratcher because he scratches his back and butt much more than the other deer. All three bucks have beautiful antlers but Scratcher’s are the largest and most magnificent.
It’s been interesting to see how comfortable these creatures have become with us. I’m sure it helps that they know we put out Dry Cob – a mixture of Corn, Oats and Barley typically used for horses – in their trough twice a day. But as the days have passed they are quite comfortable holding their ground as I walk up to the fill the trough. In some cases I have to shoo them up the hill a ways to give me space. I don’t want to be “that suburbanite who moved to the mountains and got his ass kicked by a deer because he got too close..” Especially as their testosterone levels begin to rise in preparation for rutting season.
More recently a doe has been coming down with the bucks. She keeps her distance from them, is more skittish of us, and rarely get’s a chance to eat. Occasionally after the bucks have had their fill and moved on we’ll go out to put out a scoop of cob for the doe who has kept her distance from us but has also kept her eye on us. She’ll soon come down to eat. Oddly, we haven’t named the doe perhaps because she’s not a regular at this point.
At this point I can’t imagine the fascination with wildlife and nature ever waning. I wake up each morning and go to bed each night in amazement. It’s am incredible experience to step outside shortly after dawn to let the dogs out and take in a deep breath and smell the clean air an scents from the pines. Similarly when I head inside for the the evening the air is cool once again and I find myself taking another deep breath this time as a way to say thank you for these blessings and that Holly and I are able to live amongst so much beauty and nature.