Chapter 15

If you were studying deer, they took you everywhere.

Berkeley 1932–1933

Cowan at Berkeley

Cowan at Berkeley

With deer skulls, 1935. Image Cowan_PP_044 courtesy of University of Victoria Special Collections.
Cowan & Columbian Black-tailed Deer

Cowan & Columbian Black-tailed Deer

Odocoileus hemionus columbianus Comox, 1930. Photograph by Hamilton Mack Laing Image J-00272 courtesy of the Royal BC Museum, BC Archives.
Illustration of Tails of Black and White tailed Deer

Illustration of Tails of Black and White tailed Deer

1932. Illustration by Cowan. Image Cowan_PH_373 courtesy of University of Victoria Special Collections.
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Cowan collected anecdotal accounts and then measured and analyzed his specimens to map the ranges of what he proposed as a circle of nine coastal “races” of black-tailed deer, between which there is limited gene flow. The deer he was most familiar with was the Columbian Black-tailed Deer (columbianus), coinciding with the range between his own summer and winter habitats of Vancouver and Berkeley. The notion of a wandering buck ranging over this low-lying oak woodland ecosystem backed by the Coast Mountains would have been a credible scenario to Cowan, given the travelling back and forth over the same landscape to see Joyce. There were only a few minor barriers like rivers to cross (deer are adept swimmers).


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