Saturday, November 29, 2008

Camera Critters: The Rut Winds Down



The whitetail mating season, or rut, usually peaks around the middle of November, but in recent years has often continued through Thanksgiving week and into Pennsylvania's rifle deer season, which brings it to a screeching halt.

This November was colder than those in the recent past and in fact temperatures were probably more in line with what they should be for this area. This resulted in the rut seeming to come to an abrupt end at the beginning of the week. Mature bucks were still looking for does on Sunday-at least the one in the photo below was- until he heard the frantic clicking of the 30-Ds' shutter.


Canon 30-D: 500mmF4

On Monday morning I photographed a 7-point which was still pursuing does, but since then I have seen only small bucks in Pennsylvania. The yearlings that I see on a regular basis, that have not yet dispersed from the herd, are less aggressive, and are more interested in feeding than chasing does. While it is certainly still possible to see a mature buck chasing does, with each passing day it becomes less and less likely.

Canon 30-D: 500mmF4

The same held true for Virginia when we traveled to Shenandoah National Park on Wednesday morning. We did see some large bucks by the roadside before day as we were driving to Big Meadows and saw a large buck with a broken right main beam after daylight.


Canon 40-D: 70-200mm f2.8

These animals were not chasing does, but were concentrating on feeding and regaining weight so they might better face the winter months to come.

For more animal photos, click Here.

26 comments:

Darla said...

that first photo is just perfect!

i beati said...

Beautiful shots- that compilation congrtats quite a project Sandy

david mcmahon said...

Majestic photos, Willard. Love the third shot especially.

Kelly said...

All the photos are beautiful! What gorgeous animals! Congratulations on completing your project! I bet it will be successful!

Evita said...

Wow you got such beautiful pictures and captures of these animals! How lucky you are too for having been able to see them! Although we have deer in Ontario, it is a rare occasion to see them for me. It really depends on where one lives I guess.

I came over from Thomas's site (Walk in the wilderness) and glad I saw your beautiful work. I take pictures too and love nature so much. I put up my photos on EvolvingScenes.com

Take care!

Faye Pekas said...

All stunning shots. The portrait shot is priceless.

lv2scpbk said...

Love the 2nd shot of the head.

babooshka said...

Majestic animals magnificently taken. The intensity in the eyes of the potrtait shot is stunning.

fishing guy said...

Willard: Really neat buck captures. I love the first buck and the one jumping the wall is neat.

Ladynred said...

Amazing creatures. Beautiful shot esp. the last one.
Camera Critters

Bradley Myers said...

Willard, what great photographs. The first buck has a fantastic rack on him. Looking at these beautiful animals on your site is the next best thing to seeing them in person.

Lilli & Nevada said...

What great photos these are but then every time i come visit they are spectacular

June said...

Terrific get! But keep him away from my trees :-)

Carletta said...

Terrific images as always Willard!
The first week of rifle season is over and the second begins tomorrow. The eight point I've had visiting is still coming by. I guess he's been pretty elusive so far.

Kerri said...

These are gorgeous Willard!!

Shellmo said...

Wow! And the last shot of him getting ready to jump over the fence is magnificent!

Moannie said...

Majestic! both the animal and your pictures.

Ken Conger Photography said...

Nice series. Love the images with the guy looking around the tree. Good eye contact, composition and sharp.

Louise said...

Beautiful photos. These are such magnificent creatures.

Naturegirl said...

Simply amazingly beautiful wildlife!
Great captures..the close up my fav!

Tommy said...

great post and wonderful photos. Don't you just love this time of year....

The Birdlady said...

Just gorgeous, Willard. I love to see the ones in SNP, because I know they are safe!

T and S said...

Beautiful series. I particularly like the way you have composed the first image with the deer to the top of the frame creating a amazing angle of view...Thomas

Stacey Huston said...

Willard, so glad that they have made it through the rut looking so healthy. I am still posting bucks and will eventually get to the "post rut" photos of just how agressive they can be here. The rut is winding down here as well, snowed and dropped cold(high of 4) yesterday, but not supposed to last. Thank you for posting these beautiful photos.. keep up the good work.

Gretchen said...

As always, you have the most beautiful photos I've seen.

DeeMom said...

WOW
it is so special to see the deer through your eyes, they are so beautiful