Updated: Oct 8, 2019
A local group of mule deer does are hanging around on a daily basis and they've become so accustomed to my presence that I can walk near them without startling the group to the point of fleeing in fear.
This is both reassuring and disturbing. Reassuring because they've grown used to me living up here and continue living as they have for eons. My impact on their environment and way of life is minimal. It's disturbing because I fear they will not be fearful enough of other people, especially those coming up here to poach. It's taken more than twelve years peacefully living here for these deer to accept my presence. Hopefully they aren't so trusting of other human beings only temporarily appearing in the area.
It's possible this lack of fear of humans may indicate the herd is affected by Chronic Wasting Disease. I hope not. There have been no cases reported in this part of the state so far.