In our area, the rut begins in late October, intensifies in early November, peaks around November 12th, and then declines until it is brought to an abrupt end by the rifle deer season in late November. Whitetail deer have not been nearly as easy to see this autumn, either at home or at Shenandoah National Park due to a bumper crop of acorns. As a result they are not frequenting the meadows as much as usual, but spend more time in the woodlands. Also, here at home we have been plagued by a large group of youths and young adults that have embarked on a thrill killing spree, driving about at night with spotlights and firing at deer. In several instances we have found deer shot and left to rot. To date Pennsylvania Game Commission Officers have not been able to bring them to justice in spite of an intensive effort to do so.
My best encounters with whitetail bucks this autumn have been in Shenandoah National Park. The first photo is of the largest buck I photographed this fall. Since I am an incurable video addict, I actually began this encounter by filming the animal with my Canon 7D and 500mmF4 lens as he walked through the woodlands. When he paused I pushed the shutter release and managed to capture one still image before he ran. I prefer to film wildlife with the Canon XL-H1, but find myself using the 7D more and more as one has the option of taking high quality stills, which cannot be done with the XL-H1 (The H1 can take acceptable stills if one is content with less than stellar quality and a small print size).
|Shenandoah 9 Point|
|Another SNP 9 Point|
Coy and I photographed a beautiful 10 point near Big Meadows Campground, and late in the morning of November 6th. I heard several other photographers talk about seeing him on subsequent trips, but I did not see him again.
|10 Point At Big Meadows Campground|
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