Tuesday, October 28, 2014


My boss and I travel the same quiet, traffic free country road out to Cedar Key each day. The rural scenery offers lots of wildlife sightings, from bald eagles to alligator crossings.

A while back she asked me if I had seen the "Cow Deer" in the pastures of a large ranch that we pass each day.
At that time I had not, but I was usually ignoring the cows and scanning the wetland and trees for birds as I cruised past.

She had been watching a very young deer grow up as she commuted past over this year. What was different about this deer was the fact that it seemed to choose to hang with the herd of cows and horses in the open pastures of the ranch.

So, of course I started looking. 
Sure enough, on a regular basis, the yearling deer was spotted grazing, always in the security of the "herd".
The horses and cows seemed to accept the "Cow 
Deer" as one of their own ... no questions asked.

About two weeks ago, she asked if I had noticed the Cow Deer was actually a "Cow Buck" .

I had not. So I began looking more carefully and as luck would have it, did not see him for a week or so, but then yesterday ...
There he was, grazing among the cracker cows and the graceful (aren't they all?) horse.

Definitely a "Cow Buck".
I have no problem with deer hunting, but let's hope this youngster chooses to hang out with the cows and horses as long as possible ... until the irresistible pull of a sweet doe draws him into the woods ... or who knows, maybe there's room for a "Cow Doe" in that pasture.
That could open up all sorts of cowungulatory possibilities.


Sayre said...

Smart deer! I hope he's smart enough to avoid a hunter's bullet or arrow. Looks like he is.

Julie Zickefoose said...

I would like to make extended observations to see if CowBuck has a special friend amongst the herd. I wonder if it is possible that he may have been raised by a cow, having been orphaned. The farmer might know. At any rate, I wish him all the luck this hunting season.good thing he is but a stripling youth.

Minnie said...

This makes me happy. Julie raises interesting questions that I'm curious about, too. Good luck little cow/buck.

threecollie said...

Great photos, cool story. Our cows got out this week (someone didn't chain the gate) and were found grazing with a dozen white-tails. I think the deer may seek out the cattle for safety. Cows are big and strong and fierce against the same predators that eat deer. We saw something similar when we had free-range sheep. The sheep grazed the whole farm day times but at night they hovered around the horses, sometimes right underneath them.

robin andrea said...

Such a great story. Hope that cow buck finds a mate who would like hanging out with some very cool cows!

Wally Jones said...

This kind of thing sure makes the commuting a whole lot better than a road full of traffic and "civilization" to look at!

Great images of the herd!

Mark P said...

It's not uncommon around Berry College here in Rome to see a herd of deer grazing in a pasture alongside a herd of cows, but I don't think that's exactly the same thing.

R.Powers said...

Thanks for the cow and deer comments and insight PF friends. It makes sense that herd animals might mingle when there is safety in numbers.
I'll update this as the story changes with this cowbuck.