Sunday, 21 July 2013

#445 In the field and in the studio: Mule Deer

I was thirteen before I traveled beyond Oklahoma where I grew up.  My parents and younger sister, Nancy
and I spent a summer vacation below the wild peaks of the Grand Tetons and in the geyser basins of beautiful Yellowstone in Wyoming.

The event presented many "firsts" in my young life:  among them . . .  I saw my first Mule Deer.  Growing up in rural Oklahoma, Whitetail Deer are common;  but muleys are not there and they are different:  Enormous mule-like ears, black tail, forked and bifurcated antlers, and a chunky, stocky body are the most noticeable differences.

Little did I realize then, that many years later, I would live in Wyoming, only two hours from Yellowstone, live on a tributary of the Wind River where I caught my first trout so many years ago and have a resident herd of Mule Deer on my property to use as reference while pursuing a career as a wildlife artist!

Below is one of the muley bucks that hangs out around our property.  During hunting season he is not to be found!  
We don't allow hunting on the property, nor do we feed the deer . . . the bend in the river is natural seclusion for 
the herd.  This photo was taken outside my studio window.

Below is a quick block-in of a Mule Deer in progress . . . 
lots of work remains before going to mold and casting at the foundry.

Below are three original etchings depicting Mule Deer bucks . . .
Notice the antlers are bifurcated;  they "fork" as they grow, rather than 
branching from a single main beam, as is the case with Whitetail Deer.

Feels So Good

Mule Deer Buck

Trophy Muley

All sculpture and etchings - copyright Sandy Scott

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