Local mule deer bucks are exhibiting more trust than ever now. They rarely allowed me to see them before, much less calmly stand and watch me as I watched them. Maybe they know I'm not out to kill them and can enjoy some safety in this small patch of protected land here.
So I keep my distance to avoid disturbing them, and they return the courtesy in kind, also allowing a young bear grazing for last year's fallen acorns beneath the oaks freedom too. Better for it to seek food beyond the meadow in shade of oaks than from house trashcans.
The bucks will soon be in rut, if not already. So it's time to stay alert to their need for privacy while seeking mates from the small herd of females which have summered here this year.
On the way up into the forest to fell a dead aspen for firewood, wild turkey at the creek crossing eased out of my way as I drove across then stopped to watch me pass, unconcerned by my presence.
Elk quietly graze as their breeding season approaches. Bulls will begin bugling soon.
I hope this trend of greater trust by these beautiful locals continues.