Wild Animals/deer herds

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deer
deer  
I live in eastern WA and I drive the same roads everyday from work and see deer at least once a week. usually just one to five deer at a time. Today while driving i was looking across the plains and had to stop because Ive never seen so many deer at once, as I tried to count it was 60 - 70 I could count and that doesn't include what was over the hill that they were I could see as I drove off that there were more on the back side.I would be comfortable saying I saw at least 100 total. is it normal to have that many deer in one spot?
the picture is horrible and only a small portion of what i saw.
Thanks
Chris

Answer
Dear Chris,

It's not common to see that many deer in one place, but not impossible.  They may be congregating there because it's a little warmer, or because someone is scattering food for them there.

Without knowing more about the environment, we'll just have to guess.

But that was a pretty neat thing to see!

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I'm an evolutionary biologist with a passion for animals. Ask about natural history, behavior, ecology, evolution. PLEASE NOTE:

If you have found an "orphaned" or injured wild animal or bird:
Please don't waste time asking questions on the internet, as the answers may come too late. DO NOT FEED THE ANIMAL, and DO NOT HANDLE IT unless it is in imminent danger. (Many wild "orphans" are not orphans at all!) If you are absolutely sure it is orphaned, keep it warm and quiet, and find a LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR HERE. Don't try to raise a baby yourself, or rehabilitate an injured anmal. Many a well-intentioned rescuer will do more harm than good, especially with baby birds and baby rabbits.

I.D. OF MYSTERY ANIMALS
Without geographic location, time of day and habitat, I can't help. A clear picture is always best.

I.D. OF MYSTERY ANIMAL SOUNDS
It's impossible for me to I.D. an animal call without hearing it myself.

COMPARATIVE STRENGTHS
I'm not an expert on comparative strengths of different animals (more complicated than you might think!) nor bite forces.

FIGHTING ANIMALS
I refuse to answer "Which of these two animals--X or X--would win in a fight?".

These hypothetical matchups range from impossible (Grizzly Bears and Gorillas don't even occupy the same continent.) to ridiculous (Someone asked me "Who would win a fight between a Great White Shark and a tiger?").

The vast majority of animals--even the fierce and powerful--are not as warlike as Homo sapiens, and it's childish to project our aggressiveness onto them.

Experience

I have been the fortunate caregiver to a group of Black-tailed Jackrabbits rescued from the Miami International Airport, and not releasable in this area because they are not native. I also have rehabbed and released Eastern Cottontails, and am in contact with many very experienced wildlife rescuers who regularly handle injured or orphaned rabbits and hares.

Organizations
House Rabbit Society

Publications
Exotic DVM journal

Education/Credentials
I have a Ph.D. in Biology, with main areas of expertise in evolutionary biology, genetics, botany, and ecology.

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