Deer in a Snowstorm

The snowstorm that I alluded to in my last post (“Calm before the Storm”) arrived right on schedule. Yesterday, deer were bedded on bare ground; early this morning, I was clearing 8 inches of fresh snow from around the bird feeders and the kennel. According to the evening news, we’ll have 15 -25 inches before the system moves out this weekend.

Some of my most memorable field experiences have occurred because I could not sit still and enjoy a good winter storm through a window. Today, I bundled up, tucked my camera inside the bulky wool coat, and shuffled along quietly through 10 inches of snow. The trail intersects good deer habitat and my goal was to find and photograph deer in the midst of a Nor’easter, behaving naturally.

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Everything was covered in snow, and much of the weaker vegetation was bending under the weight. There was also snow in the air, so visibility in thickly vegetated areas was less than 20 meters. These conditions are magical, even more so when a fresh track is encountered. Assuming the wind direction is favorable, a fresh deer track in the middle of a snowstorm means there is a rather large mammal within a stones throw of where you’re standing. Predator and prey, silent and invisible; who will be discovered first? I lose myself in these tense moments of hope and expectation, so focused on my surroundings that it almost hurts. What a rush!

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Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

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8 thoughts on “Deer in a Snowstorm

  1. What a great outing. That first pick is perfect with the deer posed against the snowy foliage. Love the rest of the series as well. So envious of all that snow you have. Enjoy and take lots of photos.

    • Thanks Alison. Your comments are a great motivator! Yep, I’ll be shooting every chance I get. The sun might peak thru on Sun/Mon, which could be interesting. Snow management is hard work, but the recreational opportunities balance things out. By tomorrow morning the snow depth will require travel with snowshoes. Initially, I do a lot of labor-intensive snowshoeing in order to pack trails and make later excursions a bit easier. (My 15″ beagle doesn’t handle 20″ of soft snow too well, so I know he will appreciate my trail grooming labors). Stay tuned! 🙂

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