Whenever you enter Shenandoah National Park, whether driving, biking or hiking, you are likely to see at least one deer. In my experience, this likelihood increases the closer you are to one of the campgrounds in Shenandoah, like Big Meadows [pdf]. My theory is that there is a lot more food available for the deer where groups of humans spend lots of time. In other words, our trash and handouts are like a big convenience store for the deer (and other animals). Keep in mind that I have not done anything scientific to test my theory (like actually counting deer at various distances from campgrounds). Nor have I actively considered other variables that might be at work here (variables other than the misdirected kindness and general negligence of humans). So, at this point, my theory is nothing more than blog fodder.
And a segue for cute deer pictures.
These are White-tailed Deer. All of these pictures were taken while Tammy and I were on our recent Dark Hollow Rose River Loop hike, which is coincidentally near the Big Meadows Campground.