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Whitetailed Deer, by Patrice Wolput (2012)

<i>Whitetailed Deer</i>, by Patrice Wolput (2012)


The artist, Patrice Wolput
Born in 1963 in Sabrevois, a farming village about fifty kilometres from Montreal, Patrice Wolput showed a great interest in nature and a talent for drawing at an early age.

After graduating from the Université du Québec in Montreal with a Bachelor's degree in plastic arts, he worked as a set decorator for a television series and set painter for movies while continuing to paint in his spare time.

However, it was during a 1987 exhibition of artwork by painter Robert Bateman, in Washington, that Patrice truly determined his artistic preferences. Without doubt, naturalistic painting best corresponded to his talent, his tastes and his personality. The intimate connection between an animal and its habitat is of particular interest to Patrice. His keen senses and intuition are manifest in his work.

At present he works full time as a painter. Although fascinated by the wildlife and flora of the Laurentians, he also hopes to have the opportunity to explore the wild reaches of the Great North.

The Virginia Deer or Whitetailed Deer
There is no doubt that Jacques Cartier saw a whitetailed deer in Montreal – then Hochelaga-on October 3, 1535, but the first scientifically acceptable description was by Thomas Hariot, a mathematician in the service of Sir Walter Raleigh who visited Virginia in 1584. What is now known throughout its vast range as the Virginian deer might easily have been called the Montreal or Hochelaga deer. Incredibly, there are fully authenticated cases of individuals weighing over 400 pounds (195 kilos) that were killed in the 1880’s in New England, Ontario and Quebec. Today, bucks half that weight are considered large. Even as the woods were replaced with farm land, the deer proved so adaptable that their traditional range vastly expanded: whitetails are found from the eastern foothills of the Rockies across Canada and all the way down to Panama
In colonial times, the deer were unbelievably numerous, with herds of five or six hundred not being unusual. Overhunting was largely responsible for extirpating the deer from most of New England by the 1890s. As we killed off the natural predators, mainly wolves and cougars, the population rebounded and today the whitetail is increasing dramatically. In many localities, the deer herds now face starvation in the winter unless fed by well meaning but perhaps misguided people.
Man has replaced many of Nature’s checks and balances but has yet to figure out all the subtleties
David M. Lank, CM, F.R.S.A.
Details
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