One of the first mammals I saw upon arriving at Point Reyes National Seashore was a deer. I see them daily on my commute to work. And, they often graze near my apartment. A couple of hours ago, two small bucks were grazing within 20 feet of my living room window. But these are different deer than what I am used to seeing.
Essentially, there are two species of deer in the USA; White-tailed Deer and Mule Deer. The deer here are a sub-species of the Mule Deer and are referred to as the Columbia Black-tailed Deer or Columbia Blacktail Deer. Of course, when I first referred to them as Mule Deer, I was “politely” corrected. I was told to call them Black-tailed Deer.
There definitely is a size difference between the Mule Deer in the Rocky Mountains and this subspecies. Mule Deer bucks typically average 180 to 280 pounds, with bigger bucks as high as 350 pounds. By contrast, the Black-tailed Deer bucks average around 100 to 150 pounds. For those of you familiar with White-tailed Deer, the bucks typically weigh 150 to 175 pounds.