Battle Scars

For hunters, photographers, biologists, wildlife watchers, etc., when it comes to deer in the fall, the talk always turns to the rut.

crop-Bloody-MD-buck-Wayne-D-Lewis-DSC_0329

Mule deer buck after a fight. All photos by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW.

For hunters, photographers, biologists, wildlife watchers, etc., when it comes to deer in the fall, the talk always turns to the rut. “When does it start? Which is first — whitetails or muleys?” While the people are debating, the bucks are out battling and chasing does in the field. This mule deer buck was captured by my camera this morning, coursing through the grasslands right after a fight. I’m not sure if he was the winner or loser, but he was riled up, sniffing, grunting and intent on finding a receptive doe. At one point, three does were on one side of a fence, so he squeezed under it to get to them as soon as possible and gave each a good sniff.

I can’t tell you exactly when the rut begins and ends, but I can share that for this buck, the time is now.


Wayne D. Lewis is the editor and art director of Colorado Outdoors magazine.

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