Deer live in much of California, from the coast to the mountains, and even in some desert areas. We have Mule Deer in this state, and they make themselves at home even in towns, where they readily walk into yards and nibble on the greenery.
While visiting the coast last week, I happened upon a pair of deer who were walking on a coastal bluff that was covered with shrubs. The pair were some distance apart, then quickly walked toward each other.
Suddenly, the female was out of sight, then the male followed.
It was just a glimpse of their life which I caught on camera, and they were much too far away to see where they went once they descended from that bluff. Did they have a favorite grazing spot, or perhaps a fresh water creek to drink from? Did they walk upon the beach, or clamber upon a rocky shore? The questions will never be answered unless of course I go back and find a way out onto that same stretch of coastal strand, and find their tracks. Such a pretty pair they were.
California is home to many thousands of deer. Looking up information on a CA Dept. of Fish and Game website, I found a couple of graphics on CA deer. The map shows the distribution of the 6 varieties of mule deer found in the state. Although abundant, their numbers are not as high as they once were, due to loss of habitat, and hunting, as shown in the graph.
Mountain lions and humans are the two species that hunt deer in this state, and both take many kills. The lions of course, need the deer to survive. Humans, on the other hand kill for sport. Yes, many eat the deer meat, but humans have countless other things to eat too.
Where I live, in the mountains, there are many deer that wander into town, and just this week I saw two different bucks just a few houses down the road. Beautiful animals, large, tan, with nice racks of antlers on their heads, and those antlers were covered with velvet.
Deer antlers may hang on a trophy wall in many a hunter's home, but out in nature, the antlers serve as a food source for little animals such as mice. Little animals nibble on antlers and gain essential nutrients such as calcium, and all that nibbling keeps those long front teeth from over growing.