Until the spring of 1974 my primary interaction with whitetail deer was either hunting or observing them, although I did have a strong desire to photograph them. Since I was operating on a shoe-string budget I got the Minolta SRT 101, with 50mm F1.7 normal lens in early May of that year and waited a few weeks until I had more funds before I purchased the Spiratone 400mm. What a thrill it was to look through the view finder at distant subjects. Now birds and animals were no longer barely visible spots in the finder. It is hard to describe the excitement I felt at this point--it was even difficult to sleep at night with thoughts of prospective encounters with wildlife running through my mind.
|Minolta SRT 101 and Spiratone 400mm F 6.3: Photo by W.Hill|
|Young Whitetail Doe-The First Close-up Photograph: Photo by W.Hill|
This was the first of thousands of photos I would take with SLR/DSLR cameras and telephoto lenses. The photo below shows a mature doe and was taken this past winter with a Canon 7D and 300mm F2.8 telephoto, and what a world of difference there is. She was photographed less than 75 yards from where I took the photo in 1974 and there is a fair probability that she is a descendant of the young doe that I captured on film that day.
|Adult Doe Photographed In Same Area Almost 37 years Later: Canon 7D 300mm F2.8|
So at this point, any involvement in deer wars was simply struggling to learn how to hunt and photograph them, but these interests would lead my brother Coy and I to become involved in the fight to protect the whitetail deer and other wildlife.
Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill