Below Deck Colorado: What Lurks Under Our Feet

A mule deer under the deck

Up here in the mountains of Colorado, things have been moving about below our feet, sneaking about in the night, brazenly making themselves comfortable during broad daylight. Sometimes we catch glimpses. Sometimes we hear noises. But how to prove it? Put a game camera under the deck.

So in this edition of Wheaton’s World of Wildlife, we’ll meet the animals that make themselves comfortable under our deck.

Let’s start with something exciting. A bear! He (or she) has only come through twice. And hopefully this bear doesn’t set up a den during the winter. Fun fact: Bears don’t actually hibernate; they go into torpor. “The main difference between hibernation and torpor is during torpor, the animal is able to wake up quickly to avoid danger, or if the opportunity exists exit the den to feed.” Put another way, if the temperature climbs mid-winter and you’ve left your garbage out, guess who’s coming to dinner.

Next up is a gray fox. Interestingly, you are much more likely to see with your own two eyes the red fox as the gray is smaller, more timid, a little shy. I’ve seen footage of red fox under the deck, but I must have deleted that from the memory card. Oh well. Here’s a gray fox.

Tired of mammals? How about a magpie. This guy’s showed up this summer and is dividing his time between hanging out under the deck and the dog run on the other side of the house.

Okay. Back to the mammals. Do deer hang out under the deck? Oh yes, deer love it under there. (These are mule deer, for those interested in the specifics.)

Here’s Deerdra, having herself a little lie-down.

And here’s Deerdra and friends at rush hour.

But it’s not just the ladies who hang out under there. Here’s Bucky.

Wild animals aren’t the only ones passing through. This black cat, who hails from lord knows where, is a fan of the spot.

But who is the absolute Captain below deck? Who can be spotted every day and every night, hanging out, checking out his turf, murdering mice and other little rodents? This orange badass, the neighbor’s cat.