This is a detailed, descriptive treatment of the life of a Sitka deer up to his maturity and of his island habitat. This species originally came from Japan, and Assateague, which is off the Maryland-Virginia shore, in many ways simulates the deer's native pine forests. Virtually no story is imposed on this factual handling of the deer's development from birth to his first mating. He is described in personal terms, but the author has been careful to emphasize that his motivation derives from instinct. The action comes from the continual fight for survival , which is handled here with both frankness and dignity. As in Coyote Come Home and Chestnut Cub, the wildlife of Assateague is portrayed down to the most minute features. The style is florid but the sound insights into the ecology of the region keep it from being sentimental.