Never mind that I see them nearly every day during the winter months, it's still a delight to happen upon a scene where an entire herd of mule deer -- bucks and does alike -- congregate.

I've often thought of taking up rifle, bow or even a shotgun to take down one of these majestic animals, but I've decided otherwise, given I'm not the biggest fan of venison. Of course, I might not know how to cook it.

It's enough to photograph the gang. This year, it's been in something of a different setting, as they've stayed well out of range -- so to speak -- during daylight hours.

Instead, they come in under cover of darkness, leaving their calling card.

Milo, the dog, isn't at all pleased with the evidence left behind; he's just not sure what to do about it.

Likely, there isn't much I can do about it either, and I'm not sure I want to.

Hunters talk of buck fever when an animal walks into their sights.

For a moment, when I raise up the camera, I tremble and hope everything works as it should.

So far, it's worked and each time I'm thrilled.