Every year in the spring and summer, dozens of Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus columbianus
) inhabit the slopes of Grouse Mountain. These deer spend their days grazing on the grasses and shrubs that coat our open spaces such as ski-runs.
The most common time to spot them is in the early morning or late evening when they are most active. During the hottest parts of the day they find cool shaded spots to make day-beds and spend those hours napping in the shade. For added protection from predators such as cougars and coyotes, the deer quite often lie down in the tall grasses found around the plateau.
Outside of the fall rutting season (mating season), the males (bucks) and the females (does) spend their time apart. It is common to see herds of 6-12 bucks hanging out together on the mountain, while the does are most often seen raising their young offspring throughout the summer months.
Here on Grouse Mountain we are lucky to see the young deer grow up in front of our eyes! The does bring them out every day and we watch the young fawns from the time they are tiny and heavily spotted (a trait that all baby deer share and grow out of as they age) until they are almost the size of mom and go their own separate way.
The deer here are quite used to visitors taking photos and watching them move around the mountain. Be sure to watch for them on your next trip up Grouse Mountain! Please remember, however, that they are wild animals and respect their space and nap times.