My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

My Texas Deer

White-tailed Deer
White-tailed 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.

White-tailed Deer
White-tailed Deer sparring

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.

Axis Deer
Axis Deer running away.

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.

Red Deer
Red 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.

Red Deer
Red Deer sparring 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.

Scimitar Horned Oryx
Scimitar-Horned Oryx Antelope

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.

White Fallow
Fallow Deer

We had many outstanding experiences watching these deer while visiting the Ranch last December.


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6 responses

  1. Those are wonderful photos. I love the spots on those Axis deer. They all are beautiful animals.

    11 February 2010 at 12:41 am

  2. What great photographs you have of the deer and such a wide variety!

    11 February 2010 at 6:59 am

  3. What fun you had. It is quite common for the big ranches in TX to have herds of different species and always so exciting when you are driving and encounter them from the road. So exotic! And you captured them beautifully! You make me excited about my next visit to TX (my daughter lives there so I go routinely) and all the new things I can look for. Have a wonderful day. ~karen

    11 February 2010 at 9:31 am

  4. Barb F.

    Wow, the antlers on those axis deer are something else! How nice to see so many different species in one place.

    11 February 2010 at 12:46 pm

  5. Beautiful pictures. Good to see all the different deer species that are in your area.

    12 February 2010 at 11:19 am

  6. i kind of forget that there are deer besides our very common white-tail! those red deer seem very majestic. (what kind are in your freezer?)

    13 February 2010 at 7:50 am

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