The Round Valley mule deer herd spends the winter in Round Valley and the surrounding hills where deer rely on bitterbrush to get them through the winter. The Eastern Sierra Land Trust (ESLT) holds several conservation easements in Swall Meadows, an area of over 100 homes situated in the heart of this herd’s winter range and migratory route. These two deer were enjoying the open space safeguarded by an ESLT easement on our neighbor’s property. Many deer spend much of the winter here, but when the snow gets too deep they move down-slope into Round Valley.
One cold morning in mid-December as a winter snowstorm was clearing, I noticed this handsome buck, and approached with my 80-200 mm zoom lens. Because I wanted to use all of the dramatic Mt. Tom in the background, I had to zoom out until the peak of the mountain was visible.
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Mule Deer below Mt. Tom Print