September Wildlife Photo Page: Deer


In honor of Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s 125th anniversary this year, the Clear Creek Courant and the Canyon Courier will have a monthly photo page celebrating the state’s amazing wildlife and parks. Each page will celebrate a different local animal or group of animals, including fun facts provided by CPW. For September, the mountain newspapers are celebrating deer.


  • Colorado is home to two species of deer — mule deer and white-tail deer. The former have rope-like tails, evenly forked antlers and extravagant ears; while the latter has smaller ears, antlers with a single main bear bearing smaller tines, and broad white tails. Mule deer bound with stiff-legged gait and the tail held down; meanwhile, white-tails move with a graceful lope, the flag-like tail held erect.
  • Mule deer are abundant throughout Colorado, including “edge” habitat in suburban areas. White-tails are increasingly common in the eastern plains.
  • Both species are four- to six feet long and at least three feet high at the shoulder. A buck can weigh more than 400 pounds; while a doe’s about half that size.
  • Bucks start growing antlers in spring, use them to fight for dominance and breeding rights in autumn, and then shed them in winter.
  • Deer breed from October to December and give birth after six-and-a-half months. Does usually give birth to twin fawns, which have white spots when they’re young.
  • Deer are browsers, feeding mostly on woody vegetation like twigs and leaves. They also forage on crops, especially corn. Because they eat little grass, they usually don’t compete with livestock or elk.
  • The deer population has fluctuated throughout Colorado’s history, but Colorado Parks & Wildlife estimated there were about 436,000 deer in 2015. Biologists take an annual inventory of the state’s wildlife, and use multiple sources to inform population models for deer and other species. CPW has been inventorying deer populations from the air for more than 50 years, creating a ratio of bucks and fawns for every 100 does. Using this data, CPW then sets wildlife population goals and determines the number of hunting licenses it can offer each year.


The October wildlife photo page will celebrate Colorado's foxes. To contribute to the Oct. 27 page, email photos to before Oct. 17. Include the photographer’s name, and the date and location the photo was taken. The photo can be of wildlife anywhere in Colorado and doesn’t have to be recent.

wildlife, photo, page, september, deer


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