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.

Farm Fields and Wildlife

An unusually warm and sunny September has lured me to local farms to watch and photograph wildlife. I have to share a few of the highlights from recent trips.

Sulphur butterfly on Teasel

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Young buck, blinded by the late afternoon sun, relying instead on his nose and ears to evaluate my presence.

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The difference between an adolescent, yearling buck and a mature, 4 1/2-year-old breeder can’t be fully appreciated until they’re seen in the same frame!

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An adult doe and her fawn. The first of several deer hunting seasons opens on October 1 and the fawns will have lost most/all of their spots by then.

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Three white-tail secrets for beating the survival odds:

1 — stay in the shadows

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2—never let your guard down

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3—-and, when all else fails, run like the wind!

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A hen turkey and her small flock of youngsters foraging on seeds and insects. They have incredible eyesight but lack a deer’s curiosity and tolerance of humans; in other words, they’re unapproachable! This mother hen knew something wasn’t right, but chose not to sound the alarm and run…totally out of character!

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“If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.”   – Steve Irwin

September sunset

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Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

Mature White-tail Bucks

Deer are plentiful, a serious nuisance in many suburbs. However, mature bucks in their prime are uncommon and tend to be nocturnal. They are my new project. Following a lead on  sightings of a 4 to 5 year-old trophy, I investigated his territory last night to explore my options. I spooked does on my way in and was snorted at by a doe 10 meters behind me while hiding in the goldenrods.

I saw no antlered bucks and decided to capture the sunset before leaving.

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While reaching for my gear I saw movement in the dim light, apparently a deer at the edge of the hay field, about 150 meters away. It was the big guy!

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His antlers were surprisingly free of velvet and will now be polished in advance of the November rut.

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From my point of view, there’s much work to be done. Game on!

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.