For the ten years that I have lived here there has been a seasonal dance between the mule deer and the whitetail. In the spring, the whitetail migrate up the mountain from the valley floor and the mule deer head up into the high country. Then in the Fall the migration is reversed.
Once here the mule deer form a regular part of my landscape and become like family as we all try and survive the cold, snowy Montana winter together. Mule deer are very different than the whitetail. Whitetail are skittish and awkward. The mule deer, after hunting season finishes, are tame and graceful.
It is always a special day for me when the mule deer return. Today is that special day.
I hope the young buck in these photos makes it through hunting season, which is due to commence on Saturday.