Saturday, July 31, 2010

Camera Critters: The Bachelor Groups Of Summer

Mature whitetail bucks spend most of the year traveling in bachelor groups of two to several animals but some animals are loners and live a solitary existence..  I have seen as many as nine to a dozen bucks traveling together.  The only exception to this is during the rut, when the animals compete for the attention of females, and usually travel alone.

A Bachelor Group Of Two
 There are exceptions to any rule, but in most cases the bucks that you see traveling and feeding with does in the summer are yearlings.  Large bucks and does may share the same feeding area and may actually intermingle, but if you watch the social groupings closely you will notice that the mature males will ordinarily arrive at and leave the area together.

Closeup Of Buck On Left Performing A Lip Curl

Before antler restrictions were implemented in Pennsylvania, it was extremely difficult to see bachelor groups and the vast majority of the animals were killed when they were yearlings, but now a significant number do live long enough to form these groups, but they may still be difficult to see in hunting country as mature bucks are often much more shy than the does and young bucks.

Portrait Of The Largest Buck
As is often the case, National Parks are the best places for photographers to find animals that are tolerant enough of humans to allow for quality photographic encounters.  Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee,  and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, are two of the premiere spots for whitetail photography in the Eastern United States.  The above bucks were photographed in Shenandoah National Park.

For more Camera Critters photographs, Click Here!

Originally Posted At:Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill

19 comments:

JM said...

Fantastic captures of these beautiful animals!

Dina said...

It's always such a pleasure to see your animals and learn about their ways.
Thanks, Willard.

Nikki-ann said...

Wonderful photos. It seems to be looking straight at you in that last shot! :)

ladyfi said...

Those buck photos are luminous. Just marvellous!

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

Your photographs are fantastic, as always. My husband went for a motorcycle ride today. He saw three deer, not 20 feet from his bike. Thankfully, he saw the deer in plenty of time to stop the bike. He said there was a buck and two does. They crossed the road and started to graze alongside the road. My husband rode the bike slowly up the road. When he got close, he beeped his horn, not wanting to chance that they might decide to come out in front of him. At the sound of the horn, they went off running into the woods.

Ruthi said...

Great capture. I love the last photo the best. My hubby would love to see these... he is a big fun. But I don't think they would like to meet my hubby... he is a hunter.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

These are gorgeous shots.We seldom see bucks here except during hunting season.Jake used to hunt with a rifle,but now only uses the camera.This is easier on the animals.
Blessings,Ruth

Denise said...

Gorgeous animals! I always learn a lot when I read your posts and your photos are magnificent.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Very nice captures!

sebi_2569 said...

VERY NICE PHOTO;BRAVO

Coy said...

Dandy big boys Bro, we'll have to head down some morning soon and try to meet up with them again!

Feral Female said...

What beautiful pictures Willard!

CherylK said...

What I really love about your wildlife photographs is how you always include interesting information. This is a wonderful post.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Beautiful photography, Willard. Glad the older bucks are still around and able to show their lip curls.

HANNIBAL said...

GORGEOUS BUCKS! Loved the info and the lip curl!

chasity said...

that head on portrait of the buck is gorgeous. such beautiful creatures.

Claudia said...

Beautiful pictures!

Misty Dawn said...

Wonderful photos of one of my favorite animals.

Brad Myers said...

Wow, what great bucks Willard. I am trying to catch up after being away the last two plus weeks on vacation. Did you just shoot these bucks at SNP or were they from an earlier trip?

Love the close encounter wwith the Hawk, they are magnificant birds.

I hope all is well with everyone and I am looking forward to seeing you soon.