Saturday, April 4, 2009

Camera Critters: Summer Whitetails-The King



After a solid string of posts featuring the "Eastern Wild Turkey, we dig into the archives for some shots of mature whitetail bucks from the past.

The first and last photographs were taken at Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park in 2004. These photos (with the exception of the 2nd) were taken with a Canon 10-D, which was my first DSLR, and the Canon 100-400mm L zoom.

Mature 10-Point: 2004

I photographed the buck below for the first time in the autumn of 1999 when he was already a mature, beautiful eight-point.

He was the most commonly seen buck at Big Meadows for several years. Billie Cromwell looked at his photograph and said "He looks like a King surveying his domain", so I named him "King". While he was not the largest buck I saw there, he became like an old friend and I learned a lot about whitetail behavior by observing and photographing him over the years.

King in 1999: Rebel X Sigma 170-500mm: Negative film scanned to Photo CD by Kodak

He did get somewhat larger than the photo above, attaining either ten or eleven points at one time. By 2004 he was going down hill, but was still a beautiful buck. If I recall correctly, I saw him for the last time during the rut of 2006 when he had lost most of his antler mass and had a decidedly "geriatric" appearance.

King in 2004

For more Camera Critters Photos, click Here!

18 comments:

fishing guy said...

Willard: What a wonderful show of the majestic white-tail deer.

imac said...

Wonderful Willard, such Beauty.

Babooshka said...

They are such kingly animals ans so naturally photogenic.

jenn said...

They are beautiful!

Tammy said...

They are such majestic creatures!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

You take such great photos! The bucks are handsome animals.

Oskar said...

Those are stunning pictures!

Beautiful Creation said...

It's very true that animals like that become old friends. It is so sad when we see them for the final time. I wish they could always stay in their prime! You have wonderful photos of him.

Abe Lincoln said...

What a wonderful post. I really appreciate the observation narrative. Nice work.

lv2scpbk said...

Beautiful photos. I seen your photos in the PA magazine. Way to go!

Dianne said...

amazing shots especially the profile!!

DeeMom said...

what a beauty the King is

Leedra said...

Nice series, like the 1st one the best.

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Photography By Leedra

Philip said...

Stunning shorts Willard as usual, the last one has got to be my favorite it looks so alert excellent photography :)

John Long said...

just passing by decided to say hello, have to say love the turkey picture called flying up

Shellmo said...

I aspire to take photographs like these!! Beautiful.

Ken Conger Photography said...

Interesting that you kept track of this fellow Willard. Great post! Blue Skies.

Misty Dawn said...

Outstanding photos of my second favorite animal! I enjoyed the story of King and that you were able to see and photograph him on several occassions.