Readers’ wildlife photos

October 3, 2019 • 7:45 am

We have a short version of the photos today as I’m traveling and my photos reside on the computer in my office. Fortunately, reader James Petts sent two photos yesterday. His notes are indented:

You probably  see lots of mule deer photographs, but I think these are interesting, since they show late-season antlers. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with this buck, but his antlers (a) are asymmetric – front prong bifurcated on one side, back prong on other, and (b) you can see the nodules at the base indicating the beginning of growths in later years. I don’t remembers seeing these on yearling bucks, but I’ll keep an eye out. BTW, these are the Columbian Black Tail subspecies (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus).


19 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

    1. They’re on Whidbey Island, in WA. We have around 20-25 deer here, including Whitey, the leucistic doe that has been featured here a couple of times.

    2. Being from the East where whitetail deer reside, I was surprised when I came west and saw mulies spronk across the field. Most amusing. Curious about the term spronk, I found:

      Stotting (also called pronking or pronging) is a behavior of quadrupeds, particularly gazelles, in which they spring into the air, lifting all four feet off the ground simultaneously. Usually, the legs are held in a relatively stiff position. Many explanations of stotting have been proposed; there is evidence that at least in some cases it is an honest signal to predators that the stotting animal would be difficult to catch.

      1. Fascinating ! Thank you for letting us all
        know at where these are, Mr Petts ! And,
        too Mr rickflick, for the stotting analysis.

        I had had NO knowledge upon either deal !


      2. I thought it was well accepted that pronking/stotting is signal to predators. Are there other hypotheses?

        1. Well, Mr. Stempels, you’ve just defined an excellent homework assignment. I want it on my desk by Thursday afternoon. 😎

      3. My silly Meximutt, Lucy Goosey, spronks all the time, seemingly from pure joie de vivre. Never had another dog who did that.

        1. One of my daughters dogs does a kind of dance by kicking it’s back legs out when he’s excited. Very amusing, but where does it come from? Some critters just have these little tics I guess.

          1. Lots of fun to watch. Lucy looks sort of as if she’s pouncing, but not onto anything. In the back yard, or on a hike, she’ll run run spronk, run run spronk…

  1. PS I think it was in Utah, or possibly from my Wyoming friend, that I heard it call spronking. To me it sounds very onomatopoetic: spronk, spronk, spronk.

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