Deer

With its wide range of elevations, southeastern Arizona provides habitat for both white-tail or Virginia deer and black-tail mule deer. White-tail deer are the commonest deer in the U.S. and are found in most parts of the country as well as in Central America.

White-tailed deer fawn, USFWS photo by Tom Stehn

White-tailed deer fawn, USFWS photo by Tom Stehn

The black-tail deer and the mule deer, now considered the same species, are most common in the western U.S. Some black-tail deer range through the Pacific Northwest while mule deer are desert deer, with various varieties inhabiting California, Arizona and northern Sonora. They are known as cuervo or burro deer in Mexico.

Mule deer at Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve

Mule deer at Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve

Crook's mule deer is the most common mule deer seen in southeastern Arizona. This pale-coated, large-eared deer can be found in pinyon woodlands, desert flats and rocky hills in southeast Arizona, southern New Mexico and the Big Bend area of Texas.

White-tailed deer in flight, USWFS photo by Steve VanRiper

White-tailed deer in flight, USFWS photo by Steve VanRiper

A leisurely drive up a mountain canyon any evening or early morning will generally afford a glimpse of deer. Watch for them when you take the drive at the Chiricahua National Monument or go bird-watching at Cave Creek Canyon, Ramsey Canyon Preserve or the Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve.