Mule deer and whitetail differ not only in their physical appearance but also in movement and temperament. Mule deer have large ears and short tails whilst whitetails have a tail that flies like a flag when they run. The mule deer leaps rather than runs (I call it boinging) and the whitetail go all sprattle-legged and look quite awkward. Mule deer are stocky and grayish brown in color whilst the whitetail are slight and reddish brown. Mule deer are calm and friendly, whitetail nervous and skittish.
As much as I enjoy having the whitetail here sharing my space, having their fawns. I really must say I favor the mule deer. I look forward to their coming every fall and I feel a sense of loss when they leave for the high country in the spring. The mule deer and I share this space much more intimately. For a time we are family.
Once hunting season is over it seems we settle in to a time of mutual respect and trust. We all wander around this land together. No one seems much perturbed by the presence of the other. I get so that I recognize some of the deer and give them names like Scruffy, Floppy, Daisy and Sweet Cheeks. I talk to them and they appear to listen. Maybe we all get a little whacky in winter.
Be sure and check out Kinsey's new blog The Liberated Photographer.