Mule Deer Were Eating From The Ponderosa Pine Trees In RMNP


There was so much snow on the ground in Rocky Mountain National Park that these Mule Deer were eating the needles from the Ponderosa Pine trees. I had never seen them do that before.

It must have been pretty difficult to find any food the ground in the deep snow. Have you ever seen them eating from the Pine trees?


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2 thoughts on “Mule Deer Were Eating From The Ponderosa Pine Trees In RMNP”

  1. Well, I’m 2 years late.
    We live east of the Cascade Crest at 2,240 feet elevation, in Washington State. This is the Dry Side so deep snow is uncommon but possible.
    I have several types of Pines; Ponderosa is native and does best but I have a couple of others along the driveway. Also, I have 2 White Spruce trees and some type of Arborvitae. There are many Oregon Grape (tall) with holly-like leaves.
    It appears to me the Mule Deer will nip buds as the walk past these plants but usually have things they like better.
    We now have about a foot of snow on the ground that has been here a couple of weeks. I cut branches from the trees along the driveway (needed doing) and piled them not too far away. That same day the local band of 7 to 11 deer starting eating the buds and needles. They appear to be eating about 2/3rds of the long needles. The shorter needles of the Spruce seem to be about 90% eaten.
    The deer are also stopping at the flakes of hay I toss to the horses and seem to be picking out the seed-heads.
    So, I dropped a 10″ thick Cottonwood that was near. They are working on that and, also, on the Oregon Grape plants.
    We’ve had one night of zero degrees but most nights have been in the 10° +/- range.
    These deer look healthy but I really don’t know. Maybe these are not the preferred foods, but the Deer missed the memo.

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