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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The Expedition makes only five miles being forced to seek shelter from the winds. The men hunt and fish in an area now mostly under Fort Peck Reservoir, and Lewis writes about the Mule deer.

Set out at sunrise and proceeded but a short distance ere the wind became so violent that we were obliged to come too

Meriwether Lewis

Missouri River at Duck Creek

Grassy hills above the Missouri River at Duck Creek

ther are several esscential differences between the Mule and common deer as well in form as in habits. they are fully a third larger in general, and the male is particularly large;
the ears are peculiarly large;

Meriwether Lewis

Mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus

Two female mule deer and a buck with fresh spikes

their horns also differ, these in the common deer consist of two main beams from which one or more points project the beam graduly deminishing as the points procede from it, with the mule deer the horns consist of two beams which at the distance of 4 or 6 inches from the head divide themselves each into two equal branches while again either divide into two other equal branches or terminate in a smaller, and two equal ones;

Meriwether Lewis

Mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus

Mule deer with velvet antlers in profile

Photo © Gene Eastman. Used with permission.

the most striking difference of all, is the white rump and tale.

Meriwether Lewis

Mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus

White rump and a white tail with a black spot