Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fawning Time At Big Meadows

A fellow blogger recently contacted me for  information about my experiences in photographing whitetail fawns at Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park.  I have not went to the park during peak fawning season during the past few years, so the inquiry made me think about the wonderful experiences I have had at Big Meadows and made me realize that I must not miss this exciting time at Big Meadows this year.


Young Whitetail Fawn: June 5, 2005

Most fawns are born from mid-May to mid-June and in my experience it seems that the vast majority at Shenandoah National Park are born during the last full week in May and the first full week in June. I made my first springtime excursion to the Park in 2001 and saw a lot of fawns in the meadow that year.  It was an addictive experience so I returned for fawning season each year until 2006.

Today's post features photos from an especially good morning in June of 2005.  This was the first fawning season that I had my 500mmF4, and I put it to good use, when I found a doe and fawn bathed in the beautiful early morning sunlight near the wetlands in the center of the meadow. The first two photos were taken with the 1.4 extender attached. The one directly below was published the following year in The Pennsylvania Game Commission Calendar.


Whitetail Doe Grooms Fawn
Fawns lie down in the tall meadow grasses when they are not feeding.  If one is cautious they may photograph them as they attempt to hide, but they should not approach them closely enough to disturb them. The photograph below was taken from a distance with the 500mmF4.

Whitetail Fawn Hiding In The Meadow
The deer at Big Meadows are in most cases completely acclimated to humans, but it is best to not approach too closely as the does will become alarmed or may become defensive to protect their young.  It is also a violation of park regulations to do so.

10 comments:

imac said...

Willard, they are beautiful and so cute.

Dina said...

All newborn mammals play on our heartstrings but nothing can beat these fawns. Just the name f-a-w-n is so soft it makes me go all mushy.
awwww . . .

Bird Girl said...

These photos are out of this world gorgeous! They make my heart stand still!!! Thanks for posting them, Willard!

Feral Female said...

Willard those pictures are so beautiful!!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

WOW!!! These are the best images I have seen in a long time.
Blessings,Ruth

Brad Myers said...

Beautiful photos Willard. Expect an email later today about fawns and calves as Shane and I are planning trip north and south next month, Brad.

HANNIBAL said...

Great images! I have yet to find one so young, and I would use extreme caution and view from a non threatening distance. Thanks for warning all of your readers!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Willard: So very cool.

Marci said...

All of the photos are perfect, but the second photo is the most precious I've seen! Wonderful work.

Captain Shagrat said...

Love to have taken something of this quality. Fantastic