A Foraging Buck

A favorite deer-watching site is the edge of a woodland thicket near the junction of cultivated fields of corn, oats and hay. On a good evening, my first sighting and rush of adrenaline is velvet-covered branches moving through the oats. When it happens before sunset, the contrast is startling and the scene surreal.  When the animal is a large, mature buck, I’m a very happy photographer!

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Photos by NB Hunter (August 4, 2018). © All rights reserved.

White-tails in Summer

It seems to be much too hot to do this but in the world of White-tailed Deer life goes on; business as usual. I’m sitting in a fence row, my back to a large old Sugar Maple tree. A strip of camouflage burlap draped over a line of parachute cord provides cover. I’m downwind of a huge dairy farm and the powerful aroma of liquid cow manure masks my scent. In this setting, my only predatory weakness is the annoying click of the shutter of my camera. On a quiet evening, with deer in close, it sounds like a chainsaw.

I’m watching a field of cut hay, hoping to see deer and other wildlife; would love to have a close encounter with a fox or coyote.

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Young doe approaching a mature doe and her fawn; submissive posture

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Yearling buck in velvet

Photos by NB Hunter. 22July2016 © All Rights Reserved.

Summer Meadows…and Deer

Wildlife watching is a global sport and ecotourism a major industry. At the local level, in a region where agriculture, deer and an extensive network of trails and secondary roads dominate the landscape,  deer watching is as much a part of summer as strawberries and sweet corn.

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Buck  on the move, swamp to hay field, just before dark; 16July2016

A friend has been seeing does, fawns and bucks on his dairy farm and suggested I set up for photographs. I obliged, telling him it would be a difficult chore, but somebody had to do it. Actually, I was thrilled! It was my first opportunity to  see and photograph triplets, perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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Triplet number one

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Triplets two and three; mother has my scent and is nervous

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Family portrait, just before mom ran off into the swamp, kids in tow

This doe and fawn appeared an hour later. Highway mortality, long winters and coyote predation take their toll on fawns. One or two fawns per mature doe is the norm, although sightings of mature does with no fawns at all are not unusual.

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“We do not remember days, we remember moments” – Cesare Pavese

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.