Saturday, November 22, 2008

Camaera Critters: Sklyine Whitetails



Being an obsessive-compulsive whitetail deer photographer, and with the whitetail rutting season in full swing, my main photographic subject is of course the whitetail deer. Last week Billie Cromwell and I were in Shenandoah National Park from dawn Monday morning until mid-day on Wednesday. It was a successful trip.

After sunrise on Tuesday morning we found a beautiful ten-point buck in the strip of grass between Skyline Drive and The Byrd Visitor Center.

Canon 40-D: 100-400mmL

"Salty" and his wife were there for a morning photographic shoot and arrived at a point in time when the buck crossed into the meadow after a doe and then followed her back to his original spot. Salty arrived on the scene at this point and I captured the buck crossing the road between us.


Canon 40-D: 100-400mmL

The buck remained in the area for some time before following the doe into the nearby woodlands.

Canon 40-D: 100-400mmL

Here in Pennsylvania, whitetail buck photography will come to a screeching halt on the Monday after Thanksgiving week, which is the first day of a two-week rifle deer season. In our area both antlered and antlerless deer may be hunted with the appropriate tags, but in some parts of the state the season will be for bucks only until the first Saturday in December, at which time antlerless deer will be legal too.

There is no hunting in Shenandoah National Park so these bucks are safe unless they stray from the park, but private property is very close in many areas and it seems likely that many bucks are taken each year when they leave park land. In addition, poaching is a problem within the park, but a dedicated Ranger force keeps close watch.

For more Camera Critters photos, click Here!

20 comments:

The Birdlady said...

I should say it was successful! Beautiful photos - from, of course, my favorite place.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Handsome dude. Hope he stays inside the park and away from the hunters!

babooshka said...

Excellent as always and I'd be more than plesed with this photo shoot. Linky still not co operating I see.

fishing guy said...

Willard: You two were really in the right spot. I love the photo of your capture of Salty, neat.

DeeMom said...

Luck O the Irish to be sure

Great pictures

Jeanne said...

Handsome buck and the previous posts as well. Hope they stay where it's safe.

dowhatyoulove said...

That first picture is especially well balanced. I like the tree in the background, and the bucks look so nice this time of year. Good job.

Rambling Woods said...

Even our birders are warned to stay away from birding areas during deer season...

New Rambling Woods Site

Robert V. Sobczak said...

It's that time of year. It's interesting how all the seasons fit together with one another ... I never thought about the relation of photography to the hunt, but it makes sense.

Carletta said...

Hi Willard,
I was at Salty's site earlier and when I came here I saw your buck image first and thought how similiar your posts were. You seemed to have answered my question with your shot of him!
All wonderful pictures as usual but my fav is the first one.

Tommy said...

The whitetail deer are so beautiful. I sure hope he makes it thru the hunting season.

Cathy said...

You may be obsessive, but I'm enjoying it all, so keep up the great work!

Stacey Huston said...

So glad to know that I am not the only OCD whitetail addict! LOL! I have been getting litteraly hundreds in the past couple weeks.. I am so thrilled! Thinking about posting them in a short slide show.. will see if I get it done. Beautiful photos Willard. Your weather there still looks wonderful. We have been very luck and it is still in the 40 + here, but they are getting snow in the park. Hope to make it up there before to long, supposed to be a pack of 50+ wolves this year.. Have a wonderful week and a great Thankgiving.

Ken Conger Photography said...

This fellow appears to be similar size and rack to one I photographed last year. With a nice number of does available he has no reason to expand his territory. Hopefully he won't get too greedy and leave the park and we'll see him again next year. Blue Skies.

kjpweb said...

Very beautiful! Love the light in these shots!
Cheers, Klaus

T and S said...

Beautiful series Willard. The Turkey in the previous post is amazing as well

Tami said...

Wow he is really wonderful.

MicheleRF said...

Sweet shots of the WhiteTails. My neighbor just told me he had a couple of bucks locking racks in his yard the other day. My question...why didn't you call me then!?

imac said...

As always upon my visit - fantastic post and photos plus enjoyable reading Willard.

Bradley Myers said...

Willard, I hope you and your family had a Happy Thanksgiving. I am sorry for being a day late but I had to work the holiday.

Thanks also for the good comments on the muskrats. I really enjoyed shooting them. I even had the other camera on the seat with a lens that would capture all four at the same time and was enjoying myself so much a forgot about it.

I hope to see photos from the recent trip you and Salty took to SNP.