My Texas Deer
The White-tailed Deer and Axis Deer were the primary deer species found on the Canyon Ranch in Sonora, Texas. During our visit the White-tailed Deer were in rut (mating season) and we had many opportunities to find bucks sparring (fighting) each other over different female territories. Watching these bucks were absolutely amazing and you could easily observe which deer were higher up in the pecking order. When a dominant buck walked into a feeding station, you would find all other deer backing away from the feeders.
Axis Deer was another species that was hunted on the ranch and I did encounter them on multiple occasions. I remember once while photographing a male Ladder-backed Woodpecker and the ground had started shaking with a large herd of something coming my way. It was what you would have expected to experience on the Lion King movie. I started picturing my death being publicized stating “while birdwatching in Texas, Thomas was run over by a herd of ginormous antlered deer”!! Obviously as soon as the Axis saw me they became spooked and returned the direction they came.
The guides were telling us about how the ranch had recently added a herd of Blackbuck Antelope which I hadn’t seen on my visit (but Patty did on a few occasions). Other released herds included the Scimitar-Horned Oryx Antelope, Red Deer and Fallow Deer.
The Red Deer were not hunted on the Ranch and were commonly found around the barracks that we were staying in. I actually photographed the photo above while talking to my mother on the cell phone (the few occasions the cell had reception). The deer didn’t seem too concerned that I was there talking on the phone!! I also enjoyed watching these two young males sparring through a fence because a female was just a few yards away. I guess it was natural instincts to spar but come on . . . I doubt they could really hurt themselves through the fence.
The Scimitar-Horned Oryx Antelope were another deer that would show up in herds around dusk hours and such an amazing thing to see up close. They made you feel like you were visiting Africa and they just needed a few elephants and rhinos running around with them. Those antlers were outstanding and each one was most perfectly curved.
The White Fallow Deer were found on a few occasions and I just loved their thick antlers! On a few occasions I encountered this one female who had these two males that were always following her around. I happen to locate another herd of Fallow Deer with 8-10 individuals running around but they quickly disappeared as quickly as they were discovered. They brought back memories when I was a small child feeding the fallow deer while at a petting zoo.
We had many outstanding experiences watching these deer while visiting the Ranch last December.
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