Deer is a long time resident of The Sea Ranch.  He is often called Blacktail Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbines, but the scientists say that he is closely related to both Mule Deer and Whitetail Deer.  He lives all over the western United States and is traditionally found on the edge of forest areas where there is good forage and sufficient brush to hide from perceived danger, but here in the Ranch he will often browse right up to our houses.  Here, he is tolerant of people, but will move away if they get too close.  His most important predator is the automobile.  (Auto repair shops tell us that the average bill for running into a deer on the highway is upwards of $1,500 and psychologists tell us that the event is usually accompanied by a lot of angst.)



Male deer have antlers (not horns) that come and go with the seasons.  In the spring, when the  antlers are growing in, they are covered in velvet, but, when it comes time to joust for their girl. the velvet is rubbed off and strong bone is left to do battle.  Female deer usually have one or two fawns each year and it is great fun to see them getting used to their surroundings.  They are born around the time that our grass is at it's highest and their mothers try to get them to hide in it.  They, on the other hand, are naturally curious and give the does a lot of worry as they go bouncing through their new world.  During this part of the year the bucks can frequently be found grazing together in stag parties.


Deer has always been an important food source for humans.  As such, it is well represented in folklore, legend and myth virtually everywhere in the world.  In Europe, it is a key element in the heraldry of individuals, companies, organizations, communities and provinces.  All of the great writers have referred to the stag, the hind, and the hart, in their writings.  Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the world in the Golden Hind in the sixteenth century and Santa Claus uses Reindeer to pull his sled every year.  In many cultures the peaceful nature of Deer stimulates the use of it as a symbol of tranquility and peace.  In more modern times Walt Disney gave us Bambi and J.K. Rowling wrote Deer into Harry Potter as an alternative form of several of the principal characters.

Artemis (aka Diana), the goddess of the hunt, is always depicted with a stag.