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All About The Deer:
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( Originally Published Early 1900's )

The mule-deer of Western America is so called on account of the enormous size of its ears.

In height the mule-deer is fully equal to the Virginian deer, but it is a more stoutly built and much less graceful animal, with proportionately shorter limbs, while the ears are nearly double the size of those of the latter. The tail is short, and quite unlike that of any other deer, being round, naked below, and covered above with short white hairs, terminating in a long brush of black ones. In summer the coat of the mule-deer is very thin and sparse, and generally of a reddish color, with a large white patch on the buttocks; but in winter the general color is steel-gray, the individual hairs being tipped with black. There is much more white on the face than in the Virginian deer. In a variety from California the color is more decidedly red, and there is a black line running along the middle of the upper surface of the tail.

The mule-deer is found throughout the greater part of the Missouri River district, and thence westward on the plains, in the Rocky Mountains, and in the Sierra Nevada. It is an inhabitant of rough, broken country, and on the plains is usually only to be found about high buttes, in the bad-lands, Or where the country is diversified with rocky ridges, dotted here and there with scattered pines or junipers. Its favorite resorts are the coulees, gulches, and caņons which so often break up the high table-lands of the central plateau of the continent; but it is as often to be found among the green valleys high up on the mountain-sides, or, in summer, among the low trees that grow just below the snow-line. It is to such localities as the last-named that the bucks resort during the summer when they are growing their antlers, and when their thin coat of hair affords them little or no protection against the flies.

Instead of running in the even manner of the Virginian deer, mule-deer progress by a series of bounds, all their feet leaving the ground at once. For a short distance their pace is rapid, but it soon slackens. As in the case of the Virginian deer, the number of fawns produced at a birth is nearly always two.

The mule-dear is the favorite "game" of the Rocky Mountain hunter, and although game laws have been passed for their protection they are rapidly becoming less in number every year.

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