Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Do Deer Molt?

Here are a couple pictures of Mrs. Whitetail during a nocturnal snack stop last Saturday night.Poor girl.....she's lookin' a little tatty! I'm not sure what's going on, but I wonder if she's starting to lose her summer coat now in preparation for fall?

Here are some pictures I took last October out in the woods. Talk about blending in!!
Imagine how much Mrs. Whitetail would stand out in that reddish summer coat if she were out in these autumn woods in October?

Obviously my camouflage isn't as good, because this sharp-eyed doe didn't have any trouble spotting me up in the tree taking pictures!

Even though August is just beginning, I'm starting to see some signs of fall. They creep up slowly, but what I always notice the most are the shorter days. It's now dark enough in the mornings again that I can't work on any knitting projects during the ride into work. Boo Hoo! I'll have to start searching for one of those lights to wear around my neck because I hate to think of that 20 minutes of time every morning just going to waste when I could be knitting!


Anonymous said...

Do deer get mange? Could it be from fleas or ticks? It doesn't seem like it would be a very healthy condition, whatever it is.

Meggie said...

That is one shabby looking doe! I've never seen a condition like that. Don't know what it could be.

Anonymous said...

Cool pics of your doe. From the summer reddish to the winter gray-brown. There is quite a change going on there unless you see the pics, the color change is so subtle. I'm glad she chose your yard to eat that late nite snack just so you could get her standing there.


Susan Gets Native said...

Deer at my Mom's get the same way. They look awful for a month or two, then suddenly, they are gray again.

Lynne said...

The deer we saw up north two weeks ago looked tatty too. I've always like the grayer winter coloring.

I'm thinking it's finally time for me to learn to knit. Do you have a title of a do it yourself book you might recommend? Or do ou think I should find a class?

BTW- The website for the New River Birding Festival has 2009 info posted!!

Marsha said...

That trail cam really does take great photos. How often do you have to replace the batteries?

The doe is still an elegant looking animal no matter what shap her coat is in.

Herci said...

Amazing pictures, as always. Thanks for sharing them ;)

dguzman said...

Neat pics! I love deer.

I too am noticing tiny hints of the coming season. The birds are quieter, some are already gone. Fall is my favorite season (with spring coming in a close second), so I'm PUMPED.

Mary said...

I wonder if I would fee anything happening if I had a cam like yours. Maybe a raccoon, I guess.

Ruthie, it's so hot I can't even think about signs of autumn yet but I know they are there. I'm still waking up in the dark but driving to work in daylight. And suddenly, it's quite dark at 8:30 p.m.

Love your deer.

Julie said...

My first thought, I wonder if she's rubbing on a tree and that explains her missing hair.
I have a friend who bought a small light with a long neck that clamps to her visor, she didn't like the one around her neck - just a thought.
Thanks for the links, I've contacted them for additional information.

Anonymous said...

I think she got some poor hair dye, or didn't follow the directions, HA-HA

Anonymous said...

Yep, fall is right around the corner, but I try not to think about it. I prefer hot summer days.

Mary C said...

I didn't realize that deer coats change their coloring. I guess that's because I don't see deer very often. But I have noticed in the last couple of years my son's dog's coat changes with the seasons. He's a Siberian husky, and his coat becomes more brown-like in the winter months, then changes to a redder hue in the summer months.

RuthieJ said...

Hello Anonymous,
According to Wikipedia, "mange is most commonly found in dogs and other canine species, but can occur in wild animals." I don't think this deer has mange as it doesn't appear that she has any type of skin irritation where the darker fur is; I think she's just shedding her summer coat.

Hi Meggie,
Keep an eye on the deer visiting your backyard and see if you notice anything like it as we get closer to fall.

Hi Mom,
The deer still visit at night, but not as frequently any more.

Hi Susan,
Thanks for letting me know this isn't an uncommon occurrence in the deer.

Hi Lynne,
I think you should definitely take a beginner's knitting class if you can find one nearby. You can advance on your own if do pretty good reading instructions from a book, but it's just so much easier getting started if you have someone actually show you how to cast on and do the knit and purl stitches. Good luck & keep me posted on your progress!

Hi Marsha,
I've replaced the batteries once, but some nights when the deer stay for a while the camera will take 30 pictures or more! Obviously I have to make some adjustments on how many pictures it takes at a time once I get it out in the field, but I'm hoping the batteries will last at least 3-4 weeks once its out there. It also has a way to hook it up to a solar battery, but I don't have one of those.

Thanks Herci--glad you enjoyed them.

Hi Delia,
I love deer too--I wish I had more time to stay home and watch them.
In just the last week, I've noticed the absence of many bird calls, the field sparrows and dickcissels in particular (sigh)

Hi Mary,
Do you have a place in your yard for a camera like that? They seem to work well near a food source and you might be surprised to see who visits your backyard after dark!

Hi Julie,
I was thinking that too--the rear end is worn off more because she lays down to sleep and probably rubs her neck against trees when it's itchy (or just from walking through thickets and the woods).
I'm starting to check out some lighting options--a clip-on version would work good if I find the right style.

Hi ScienceGuy,
I'm always happy when the weather cools down a bit. We haven't even hit 90 degrees yet this summer, so even 85 seems beastly to me. If it never got over 75, I'd be happy!

Hi Mary,
That's interesting about your grand-dog's coat change.....does the texture of the fur change too? or just the color?

Mary C said...

Hey Ruthie - I checked with my son about Redd's coat. He said it's thicker and softer feeling in the winter months, and of course, browner looking. Right now Redd's coat doesn't feel that soft, but his fur is definitely redder looking.