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Spotted

Lone adult white-tailed deer tend to be fairly accepting of human presence, especially in full daylight

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Odocoileus virginianus

and when we move slowly and smoothly (predictably?). Well-defended with hoofs and sometimes antlers, not expecting hereabouts to be shot from afar, and easily able to outrun us, they often tolerate fairly close approach;

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Albizia julibrissin, cropped

even when chastised for grazing on valuable specimen plantings, they are more likely to amble away

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than to bound. Their young seem even more fearless/tolerant, perhaps at this age due less to confidence than to a common prey-animal survival strategy of freezing in place

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when sighted, as many predators have difficulty focusing on motionless subjects.

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But fawns seem more quick to ignore (or become less overtly wary toward) observers than do their parents.

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–Except, as with foxes and some others, when generations commingle. Then the doe is likely to initiate stampeding flight, where a carnivorous matron will approach a stalker in attack posture and make warning sounds.

As to the artifacts of humans, deer seem largely indifferent, so long as these also move (if at all) slowly and smoothly. And while their motivations are unknowable, hence making perilous any anthropomorphic projection, browsing deer may seem only a little less curious about intrusions into the “natural” environment than are gatherers like chipmunks and squirrels,

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appear comfortable with uncategorizable objects,

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and may even participate in random acts of surreal performance art:

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