Last spring, a young male white-tailed deer with two little bumps on his head appeared in our nature preserve. He stayed around during summer and fall, while his bumps grew into an impressive 9-point set of antlers.
Almost always visible from one of the trails, he delighted newcomers and became a favorite sight for regulars. While comfortable with the attention, he kept a respectful distance.
As fall progressed, we heard reports of does checking out our young buck from the Rosehill side of the fence. Then, questions started coming in. Where was "our" deer? No one had seen him in the Preserve for at least three weeks.
A regular visitor did note a buck with two does grazing just to the southeast of the Preserve. Perhaps this buck is "our" deer with his consorts
While we miss him, there is no rush for him to return. His wintertime browsing could do significant damage to the maturing trees and shrubs. Nevertheless, his "residency" was a rare and wonderful occurrence and we are grateful.