The Whitetail Rut, 2019

As is often the case, the whitetail rut was the signature event of the last four to five weeks.  Typically, the primary breeding season begins in late October and continues well into November. It is a time when deer are on the move and can appear unexpectedly at any time of the day or night.

In late October I was inspired by a seductive blend of morning sun, fog and colorful foliage.  A short walk led me to an opening where a clump of golden-yellow aspen trees caught my attention. I positioned myself for a landscape shot, all the while harboring a greedy thought: in a perfect world, the scene would include one more element: deer. At that instant, a doe burst into view and very nearly ran me over. The chaotic scene was soon followed by another: the soft grunts and quick pace of a rutting buck, following the scent of the doe. He immediately filled the camera frame with a blurry, brown view and rendered me helpless. As luck would have it, he saw me twisting in a knot in a desperate attempt to record the moment, spun around, and ran.

His route was a half circle across an opening, giving me a chance to collect myself and capture my dream for all to see!

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Photos by NB Hunter (late October, 2019). © All rights reserved.

Holiday Greetings from Central New York

Wetland in late evening; 2Nov2018

A mink, busy hunting frogs in a nearby stream and caching them in a den under tree roots; 2Nov2018

Winter arrives early, triggering a frantic search for recently buried red oak acorns; 15Nov2018

A wintry scene on the river; 23Nov2018

Shallow ponds are freezing quickly, leaving little open water for foraging muskrats; 28Nov2018

The main whitetail rut is winding down, but not over;  he’s tending an estrous doe; 29Nov2018

Eagles weathering the storm, with a watchful eye on ice-free surface water; 7Dec2018

After the storm: a red-bellied woodpecker probes dead wood high in the crown of a declining sugar maple; 9Dec2018

Photos by NB Hunter. © All rights reserved.