Recently the Naturalist was asked by an experienced sportsman and writer in what way the Columbia Black-tailed deer of the Park differed from the Mule deer of the Rocky Mountain regions. There seems to be a wide-spread idea that the two are practically the same.
It is true that the Columbian black-tailed deer much more closely resembles the mule deer than it does the eastern white-tailed or Virginia deer, but there are marked differences in the two.
The Black-tailed deer is found only in the humid forests of the Northwest. It has the large ears and the Y forking horns of the Mule deer, but is much smaller. The tail is black above with only a narrow fringe of white at the edges and there is no white rump-patch as with the mule deer. The tail of the white-tailed deer is black above also but there is a much wider fringe of white and the antlers branch not in Y's but as single tines from a heavier beam. See sketch below.
Park officials estimate that there are between three and four hundred deer in the Park but it is almost impossible to get any good check on them. There may be several times that many.
|<<< Previous||> Cover <|