A wild mule deer buck, Odocoileus hemionus, found in western North Dakota. More specifically, this would be a Rocky Mountain mule deer, O. hemionus hemionus.
I'm rather proud of this shot. Sure, I've seen better shots of deer out there, but I didn't take any of those myself. I also didn't spend an hour stalking any of those deer from the top of a butte like I did with this one.
So I went up a butte/ really steep hill to look for snakes. Since one only finds snakes when one is not looking for them, I didn't see any. What I did see is a mule deer buck grazing near a large rock way down in the valley. I was downwind, uphill, and far away, so he didn't notice me.
I decided I would hike/ fall/ slide down the side of the butte/ really steep hill and sneak up on him. It took a long time, and finally as I was hiding behind a rock, he accidentally stumbled upon me. I managed to get a few shots off while he stood there sniffing before he and his companion bolted. This is the last shot of that series. Of course then I had to make it back up the butte/ really steep hill. Thank God for small junipers with really sound root foundations. They make adequate climbing ropes.
I know what kind of deer this is, but if anyone knows what point rating his rack would receive, I would like to know. I know hunters tend to rate antlers on a 1-10 point scale, or something like that, based on size and whatnot. I am curious as to how well this one rates.