Featured Animal: Deer
Coues’ white-tailed deer often throw up their tails and display a snowy, white underside. Hence their name describes what most people see fleeing whitetails. Coues’ whitetails in New Mexico are smaller than mule deer and have a delicate appearance.
Coues’ White-tailed Deer
Coues’ white-tailed deer is the smaller of the two subspecies of whitetails found in New Mexico. In fact, the Coues’ whitetail is smaller than any other deer in the United States except the Florida Keys’ white-tailed deer.
Although we take deer populations for granted, Rocky Mountain mule deer reached a low point of about 41,000 in New Mexico in 1926. Laws governing game animals and fish were passed by the Territorial Legislature in 1897, but were hard to enforce. No legal hunting for deer, elk, antelope, or mountain sheep was allowed for five years early in this century. State laws and public attitudes regarding wildlife progressed to allow a comeback of deer herds. Today, there are perhaps 300,000 mule deer and the less-common white-tailed deer combined in our state.