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High Altitude Whitetails

Old 07-05-2019, 05:02 AM
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Default High Altitude Whitetails

Saw something pretty interesting last week. I was up in my native CO doing some fishing and just messing around in the high country and I saw these:



That is 2 whitetail does. On the surface that is nothing really unusual until you factor in where this photo was taken. This is just outside Rand, CO which sits at an altitude on 8700 feet in elevation. I believe this is the highest I have ever seen a whitetail. This looked like a doe and a yearling so that means somewhere along that creek bottom is a whitetail buck in an area much better known for mulies, elk and moose.
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:58 AM
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It’s amazing how adaptable whitetails are.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:14 PM
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I have seen quite a few up around 6000 or so feet here in Montana, usually they have been within a mile or so of a creek or river bed. Not sure it is a good thing, mulies are already encroached upon in much of their habitat by WT, and of course, the land can only tolerate a certain number of animals especially in extreme years.
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:08 PM
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My uncle lives around 8,700 ft

Very few whitetails, but we have seen a few.

i think it's only a matter of time. The whitetail seems able to adapt.
-Jake
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:59 PM
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I agree, human expansion has sure moved many animals into new places over the yrs, but so will food, and less predators,
to be honest, nothing much surprises me anymore , where critters show up these days!
critters are running out of traditional places, and having to make due where ever they can IMO!
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Old 07-06-2019, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mrbb View Post
I agree, human expansion has sure moved many animals into new places over the yrs, but so will food, and less predators,
to be honest, nothing much surprises me anymore , where critters show up these days!
critters are running out of traditional places, and having to make due where ever they can IMO!
I am not sure what you're talking about. These deer are not being pushed into an area like this by any human "expansion." There isn't a large city or area of human population within 60 miles of this place. Have you ever been to any of the Rocky Mountain states? Whitetails have always been there,Teddy Roosevelt killed a whitetail buck by Kremmling, CO more than 100 years ago. But seeing them this high is unusual, that's the point.
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Old 07-06-2019, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by flags View Post
I am not sure what you're talking about. These deer are not being pushed into an area like this by any human "expansion." There isn't a large city or area of human population within 60 miles of this place. Have you ever been to any of the Rocky Mountain states? Whitetails have always been there,Teddy Roosevelt killed a whitetail buck by Kremmling, CO more than 100 years ago. But seeing them this high is unusual, that's the point.
yes I have been to many western/rocky MT states(even the rocky's in Canada too) and hunted many of them as well as just visited or spent time in them doing other things(Snowmobiled in most of them as fact)


my point is,many things move critters, humans, being one and FOOD, and predators
if there up HIGH something is making them go there and its as you already know, NOT whitetail deer normal range!
what about this didn;t you understand as my point here??
I see deer in many places they normally are NOT, like on /in coal fields, with NOTHING but rocks and old slag piles, heck, I see them on top of 300-500+ ft piles of the stuff often, and there isn;t a single thing for them to eat or drink, or a reasons to be there!
some times I think they just like being up HIGH to look around!
another reason MAYBE and same for why you seen them is SAFETY< like it or not, some deer, like to be in more remote places and have more privacy, reclusive so to speak!
so, whitetails up high, like some mule deer do, NOT all that much a surprise to me, add in the fact its proven, BOTH species cross breed at times, and well, why wouldn;t they go high too at some point or just a few of them ??
you might not think hum,an expansion is there, but the deer might feel other wise
ain;'t NO place I know, less crowded NOW>< as it was 20 yrs ago!
national parks, and federal lands, in many western places get pounded by public land hunters, as to a few decades ago!!
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:07 AM
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Maybe the Whitetails are either copying or following the same imperative some of the Mulies do. Some Mulies migrate, make the same journey year after year. The reasons my be varied and multiple, cooler at the higher elevations, better forage, fewer flies, whatever?
I used to hunt a Muley migration in California, you could predict where they'd be along the migration route pretty closely on a calendar. Even Fish and Game would have flexible seasons in certain areas so the hunters were always behind the migration and could harvest the stragglers-
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