Today, warning flags are being raised about the mule deer's well-being. Overharvesting by hunters, an overabundance of natural predators, extreme weather and range encroachments by subdivisions have combined to reduce mule deer populations throughout the West. Some doomsayers have all but written the mule deer's obituary. Though the situation is serious, I am convinced that the gray deer's glory days are far from over. Among their many attributes, mule deer multiply very rapidly. With better management by game departments, which is happening, they will flourish again. Besides, what would a Mountain Man do without mule deer?d for a few seconds with regal antlers silhouetted against the sky before turning and bounding away. Questions and self-doubts raced through my mind as we hurried to the spot where, instead of an illegal doe, a mediocre 3x3 buck lay dead on the ground. Like the larger buck that I had first seen and Sapir and Atcheson were fixated on, this one was also on the skyline.