78            Black-tailed Deer

                            CERVUS MACROTIS.--Say.
                             [Odocoileus hemionus]

                                   MULE DEER.
                           [Mule Deer (Black-tailed)]

                     PLATE LXXVIII.  FEMALE--Summer Pelage.

     C. cornibus sub-dichotomo-ramosis; auriculis longissimis; corpora supra
pallide rufescente-fusco, cauda pallide rufescente cinerea, apice compresso
subtus nudi-osculo nigro.

     Horns cylindrical, twice forked; ears very long; body above, brownish grey;
tail short, above, pale reddish ash colour, except at the extremity on its
upper surface, where it is black.  Hair on the body coarse, like that of the
Elk; very long glandular openings on the sides of hind legs.


     JUMPING DEER.  Umfreville, Hudson's Bay, p. 164.
     BLACK TAILED or MULE DEER.  Gass Journ. p. 55.
     BLACK TAILED DEER, MULE DEER.  Lewis and Clarke. Vol. 1, pp. 91, 92, 106,
       152, 239, 264, 328. Vol. 2. p. 152. Vol. 3. p. 27,125.
     MULE DEER.  Warden's United States. Vol. 1, p. 245.
     CERF MULET.  Desmarest Mam., p. 43.
     BLACK TAILED or MULE DEER.  James Long's Exped. Vol. 2, p. 276.
     CERVUS MACROTIS, Say.  Long's Expedit. Vol. 2, p. 254.
     CERVUS MACROTIS.  Harlan Fauna, p. 243.
     CERVUS MACROTIS, Sabine.  Franklin's Journey, p. 667.
     CERVUS MACROTIS.  Godman's Nat. Hist. Vol. 2, p. 305.
     GREAT EARED DEER.  Griffith's An. King. Vol. 4, p. 133; Vol. 5. p. 794.


     In size this species is intermediate between the Elk and the Virginian
Deer, and a little larger than the Columbian Black Tailed Deer, to be noticed
hereafter.  It is a fine formed animal, bearing a considerable resemblance to
the Elk, its long ears constitute its only apparent deformity.
     Male.--Antlers slightly grooved, tuberculated at base, a small branch near
the base, corresponding to the situation and direction of those of the C.
Virginianus.  The curvature of the anterior line of the antlers, is similar in
direction but less in degree than in the Common Deer; near the middle of the
entire length of the antlers they bifurcate equally and each of these processes
again divides near the extremity, the anterior of these smaller prongs being
somewhat longer than the posterior ones.  The lateral teeth are larger in
proportion to the intermediate teeth than those of the Virginianus.  The ears
are very long, extending to the principal bifurcation, about half the length of
the whole antler.  The lachrymal aperture is longer than in the Virginian Deer,
the hair is coarser and is undulated or crimped like that of the Elk; the hoofs
are shorter and wider than those of the common Deer, and more like those of the
Elk, the tip of the trunk of the tail is somewhat compressed and almost
destitute of hair.
     Female.--Summer Pelage.--In the length and form of its ears, the animal
from which we describe constantly reminds us of the mule, and in this particular
may not have been inappropriately named the Mule Deer.  The female is
considerably larger than the largest male of the Virginian Deer we have ever
examined.  The head is much broader and longer from the eye to the point of the
nose, the eye large and prominent, the legs stouter, and the tail shorter.  The
gland on the outer surface of the hind legs below the knee, covered by a tuft of
hair, is of the unusual length of six inches, whilst in the common deer it is
only one inch long.  Around the throat, the hair is longer than in the
corresponding parts of the Virginian Deer, and near the lower jaw under the
throat, it has the appearance of a small tuft or beard.  The tail of the
summer-specimen is slightly tufted, indicating that in winter it might have a
distinct tuft at the end.  It is rounded and not broad and flat like that of the
Virginian Deer.
     The hair on the body is coarse, and lies less compact and smooth, that on
the thighs near the buttocks, resembles white cotton threads cut off abruptly.


     Upper portion of nose and sides of face ashy grey; the forehead is dark
brown, and commences a line running along the vertebrae of the back, growing
darker till it becomes nearly black.  Eyebrows and a few streaks on and along
the neck dark brown.  Neck, and sides of body, yellowish brown.  Outer surface
of legs a shade lighter than the sides of the body.  Under the chin, inner
surface of legs, and belly, greyish white.  Belly between the forelegs brownish
or yellowish-brown, a line  of which colour runs up to the neck.  It differs
from the Virginian Deer in being destitute of the dark markings under the chin,
and has them less conspicuous around the nose.  From the root of the tail
extending downwards on both buttocks there is a lightish patch seven inches in
diameter, making an approach to the yellowish white spot on the buttocks, so
characteristic in the elk, rocky mountain sheep, and pronged horned antelope.
From the root of the tail to near the extremity the hairs are ashy white.  Point
of tail for two inches black.
     There are no annulations on the hair, which is uniform in colour from the


                                                        Ft.     Inches

     Nose to anterior canthus of eye.  .  .  .  .  .  .          6 1/2
     Length of eye.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .          1 1/4
     Nose to opening of ear.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1         1/4
     Nose to end of ear .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1       8 1/4
     Breadth of ear  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .          3 1/2
     Nose to point of shoulder.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  2       1
     Nose to root of tail  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  4      10
     Tail vertebrae  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .          5 1/2
     End of hair  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .         10
     Tip of shoulder to elbow .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1       5
     Tip of shoulder to bottom of feet .  .  .  .  .  .  3       3
     Height to rump  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  3       6 1/4
     Girth back of shoulder.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  3       1 3/4
     Round the neck  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1       2 3/4
     Nose to angle of mouth.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .          3 1/2
     Between eyes at anterior canthus  .  .  .  .  .  .          4
     Behind the eyes round the head .  .  .  .  .  .  .  1       6
                                Weight, 132 lbs.

     Dimensions of a Male, as given by Say.

     Length from base of antlers to origin of basal process,  .      2
     From basal process to principal bifurcations .  .  .  .  . 4 1/2 to 5
     Posterior branch  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 2 1/2 to 3
     From anterior base of antlers to tip of superior jaw  .  .      9 1/4
     Of the ears .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      7 1/2
     Trunk of the tail .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      4
     Hair at the tip of tail .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     3 to 4


     The first opportunity was afforded us of observing this magnificent animal,
on the 12th of May as we were ascending the Missouri, about eleven hundred miles
above Fort Leavenworth.  On winding along the banks, bordering a long and wide
prairie, intermingled with willows and other small brush wood, we suddenly came
in sight of four Mule or black-tailed Deer, which after standing a moment on the
bank and looking at us, trotted leisurely away, without appearing to be much
alarmed.  After they had retired a few hundred yards, the two largest,
apparently males, elevated themselves on their hind legs and pawed each other in
the manner of the horse.  They occasionally stopped for a moment, then trotted
off again, appearing and disappearing from time to time, when becoming suddenly
alarmed, they bounded off at a swift pace, until out of sight.  They did not
trot or run as irregularly as our Virginian Deer, and they appeared at a
distance darker in colour, as the common Deer at this season is red.  On the
25th of the same month, we met with four others, which in the present instance
did not stop to be examined; we saw them at a distance rapidly and gracefully
hurrying out of sight.  On the evening of the same day, one of our hunters
brought to us a young Buck of this species, the horns of which, however, were
yet too small to enable us to judge what would be their appearance in the adult
animal.  When on the Upper Missouri, near Fort Union, we obtained through the
aid of our hunters, the female Black-tailed Deer, from which our figure,
description and measurements have been made.  We regret exceedingly that we were
so unfortunate as not to have been able to procure a male, the delineation of
which we must leave to our successors.
     The habits of this animal approach more nearly those of the Elk, than of
either the long-tailed or Virginian Deer.  Like the former they remove far from
the settlements, fly from the vicinity of the hunter's camp, and when once
fairly started, run for a mile or two before they come to a pause.
     The female produces one or two young, in the month of June.
     We have figured a female in summer pelage, and have represented the animal
in an exhausted state, wounded through the body, and about to drop down, whilst
the hunter is seen approaching, through the tall grass, anticipating the moment
when she will reel and fall in her tracks.

                           GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION.

     The Mule Deer range along the eastern sides of the Rocky Mountains, through
a vast extent of country; and according to LEWIS and CLARKE are the only species
on the mountains in the vicinity of the first falls of the Columbia River.
Their highest northern range, according to RICHARDSON, is the banks of the
Saskatchewan, in about latitude 54 degrees; they do not come to the eastward of
longitude 105 in that parallel.  He represents them as numerous on the Guamash
flats, which border on the Kooskooskie River.  We found it a little to the east
of Fort Union on the Missouri River.  It ranges north and south along the
eastern sides of the Rocky Mountains through many parallels of latitude until it
reaches north-western Texas, where it has recently been killed.

                                GENERAL REMARKS.

     Since the days of LEWIS and CLARKE, an impression has existed among
naturalists that there were two species of black-tailed Deer; the one existing
to the east of the Rocky Mountains, and the other, bordering on the Pacific, and
extending through upper California.  Although the descriptions of those fearless
and enterprising travellers are not scientific, yet their accounts of the
various species of animals, existing on the line of their travels, have in
nearly every case been found correct, and their description of habits very
accurate.  They state that "the black-tailed fallow Deer are peculiar to this
coast (mouth of the Columbia,) and are a distinct species, partaking equally of
the qualities of the Mule and the common Deer (C. Virginianus.)  The receptacle
of the eye more conspicuous, their legs shorter, their bodies thicker and
larger.  The tail is of the same length with that of the common Deer, the hair
on the under side, white; and on its sides and top of a deep jetty black; the
hams resembling in form and colour those of the Mule Deer, which it likewise
resembles in its gait.  The black-tailed Deer never runs at full speed, but
bounds with every foot from the ground at the same time, like the Mule Deer.  He
sometimes inhabits the woodlands, but more often the prairies and open grounds.
It may be generally said that he is of a size larger than the common Deer, and
less than the Mule Deer.  The flesh is seldom fat, and in flavour is far
inferior to any other of the species!  It will be seen from the above, that they
regarded the Mule Deer of the plains of Western Missouri as a distinct species
from the black-tailed Deer, which existed along the Pacific coast near the
Columbia river.
     SAY gave the first scientific description of the Mule Deer, which he named
"Cervus Macrotis," which having the priority we have retained.  RICHARDSON,
whilst at the Saskatchewan, sought to obtain specimens of this animal for
description, but it being a season of scarcity, the appetites of the hunters
proved superior to their love of gain, and they devoured the Deer they had shot,
even to their skins.  When after his return to Europe, in 1829, he published the
animals obtained in the expedition, he very properly added such other species as
had been collected by the labours of DOUGLASS, DRUMMOND and other naturalists,
who had explored the northern and western portions of America.  Finding in the
Zoological Museum a specimen of black-tailed Deer, procured on the western coast
of America, by DOUGLASS, he concluded that it was the species described by SAY,
C. macrotis; at the close of his article, he refers to the animal mentioned by
LEWIS and CLARKE, as the black-tailed Deer of the western coast, of which he
states, that he had seen no specimen, designating it (F. B. Am. p. 257) C.
macrotis, var.  Columbiana.  We have, however, come to the conclusion that the
animal described by RICHARDSON was the very western species to which LEWIS and
CLARKE refer, and that whilst his description of the specimen was correct, he
erred in the name, he having described not the Mule Deer of LEWIS and CLARK and
SAY, but the Columbian black-tailed Deer, our drawing of which was made from the
identical specimen described and figured by RICHARDSON.  We have named it, after
its first describer, Cervus Richardsonii.
     The following characters will serve to designate the species.
     C. Richardsonii, considerably smaller than C. macrotis, the male of the
former species being smaller than the female of the latter.  The hair of C.
macrotis is very coarse and spongy, like that of the elk, that of C.
Richardsonii is much finer and more resembles that of the Virginian Deer.  The
C. Richardsonii has no glandular opening on the outer surface of the hind leg
below the knee joint, approaching in this particular the antelopes which are
also without such openings, whilst the corresponding portion in C. macrotis is
longer than that of any known species of Deer, being six inches in length.  They
differ in the shape of their horns, C. Richardsonii having the antlers more
slender, much less knobbed, and less covered with sharp points than those of the
latter.  They are also destitute of the basal process, so conspicuous in C.
macrotis.  We regret exceedingly that from circumstances beyond our control, we
have been enabled to give a figure of the female only of C. macrotis, and of the
male only of C. Richardsonii.  The former was figured from the specimen we
obtained at Fort Union, and for the latter we are indebted to the directors of
the Zool.  Society of London, who very kindly permitted us to make a drawing
from the specimen previously described and figured by RICHARDSON.

     NOTE.--In connection with this subject, we are deeply pained to be
compelled to notice the obstructions thrown in the way of our pursuits by the
directors of the National Institute at Washington, which city we visited shortly
after the return of our exploring expedition, when we were kindly invited by Mr.
PEALE to an examination of the valuable specimens of Natural History, collected
by our adventurous countrymen.  We pointed out to him one or two skins of the
black-tailed Deer from the Western coast, which we both agreed differed from the
C. Macrolis of SAY.  We proposed to him that he should give a short description
of the species, and select the name, which we would afterwards adopt in our
work--this is in accordance with the mode usually pursued, and would have only
occupied an hour.  After the lapse of several years, we made an application by
letter to the directors of the Institution for the privilege of making a drawing
of the specimen; this we were not only refused, but were even denied the
privilege of looking at the specimen, which we were very anxious to see, in
order to be enabled to point out in the most satisfactory manner the
characteristics by which these two closely allied species of Deer inhabiting our
country could be distinguished from each other.
     We cannot but contrast the narrow-minded policy pursued towards us in our
application at Washington, with the liberality and generosity which was at all
times extended to us in Europe under similar circumstances.  When we visited
England in 1838, the Directors of the Zoological Society opened its museum and
assigned to us a private room, of which they gave us the key, and which we
occupied for nearly a month--the specimens were taken from the cases by their
attendants and brought to us, and when we discovered in the collection
undescribed species, we were encouraged and aided in describing them.  The same
facilities were afforded us in the British museum, and in those of Edinburgh,
Paris, Berlin, Dresden, and Zurich.  The British Government, as well as our own,
gave us all the assistance which could be rendered by either, consistent with
other public services, and we derived material advantages from the aid afforded
us by the revenue service and the various military stations we have visited in
our researches, in Labrador--in Florida--in the far West, and in Texas.
     We know not who were the Directors of the National Institute when our
reasonable request was so cavalierly rejected, nor have we inquired whether any
changes in policy have since taken place in regard to the collection of animals
at Washington, but we feel it our duty publicly to protest against a conduct so
narrow, selfish, and inconsistent with the liberality of our free institutions
and so little adapted to promote one of the objects sought to be gained by the
exploring expedition--viz:  the advancement of natural history.
     When the Hudsons Bay Company received an intimation that we would be glad
to obtain any specimens they could furnish us from their trading posts in the
arctic regions, they immediately gave orders to their agents and we secured from
them rare animals and skins, procured at considerable labour and expense, and
sent to us without cost, knowing and believing that in benefitting the cause of
natural science they would receive a sufficient reward.