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Isabella the Mule Deer

Life of a single doe in Escondido Creek

While wildlife sightings on the trail can be rare, they are the reason we protect these open spaces—and they’re out here! Recently, we’ve been more strategic in our wildlife camera placement and have been surprised to see regular visits from a beautiful female doe. You can learn a lot from these images—her migration patterns, eating habits… and that her name is obviously Isabella. Here’s some of the anecdotal data we’ve gathered:

Isabella ending her midnight Vinyasa with a Downward Deer (Adho mukha śvānāsana)


Isabella grew up along Escondido Creek and is so grateful that vegetarian options are so easily accessible nowadays. She has access to many native shrubs and grasses—they’re also great to hide in! Isabella didn’t choose to be a vegetarian for any political cause—she simply chooses to for her health reasons. Although, she does feel a sense of relief that she’s contributing to a smaller carbon footprint by not eating meat. Other members of her species have been known to partake in the delicacy of small birds—and wildlife camera observations have even observed them feasting on the remains of their own species!

Isabella enjoying a vegan and gluten-free snack


While single life for a doe is nice, she has her admirers. This time of year, she often finds bucks sniffing around her bed when she’s away. Isabella, however, is not in any hurry to start a family—especially with the high cost of living in California. The average doe needs 0.3 to 1.2 square miles of open space while that of bucks is approximately 1.2 to 4 square miles. Although, depending on the habitat, they can require up to 32 square miles of open space! Try finding that on a doe’s budget. You’d think a buck would step up and help with raising the kids, but hookup culture has been embedded in the mule deer species since their appearance several thousand years ago.

Tom caught showing off his freshly grown antlers near her home—probably hoping to get lucky before they fall off again at the end of winter.


On the bright side, the Escondido Creek Conservancy has helped preserve over 4,000 acres of open land in the Escondido Creek watershed, which helps the upfront costs faced by a single doe. While Isabella is still looking for the buck of her dreams, she’s turning to more modern methods, like online dating (see her profile below). Until that day comes, you may run into her on Tinder, on the trail doing yoga, or running for deer life! To support single does like Isabella, don’t forget to donate to The Escondido Creek Conservancy so we can keep connecting open spaces for large mammals to roam!