Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Deer Sightings Increase With Dry Weather

Whitetail Deer Feeding In Early Morning
 Early morning, a light fog blankets the lower areas, as the faint glow of the yet to appear sun, tinges the atmosphere.  In the cool of the morning, the grasses are wet with the morning dew, but in a few short hours, the relentless rays of the summer sun will absorb the moisture and most deer will leave the open areas shortly before the rays of the sun hit them.  Only a bit over a week ago deer, especially the bucks, were more difficult to see. But then one day it stopped raining incessantly and the sun shone with a brutal power.  Within a short time there was a different feel in the air and the grasses in the more exposed areas withered.  To an experienced summer whitetail person, this meant that deer sightings were likely to increase.

Bucks are more likely to appear--either solitary animals or bachelor groups of two or more.  Earlier small streams provided a plentiful water supply in the  mountains, while lush green  foliage  and plant growth offered excellent forage during the wet weather, but with the onset of dry conditions, secluded meadows that are near  near to streams now provide better living conditions and this makes the animals more visible.  Only some of the yearling bucks actually travel with the extended family groups of does and fawns. Older bucks such as this one have gone out on their own. They may feed near a herd of does, but if one watches closely they will see they that the bucks usually arrive and leave by themselves.

Solitary Buck Leaves Meadow Before Sunrise
While fawns have been seen from time to time since mid-May, this also marks the period that they begin traveling with the does more frequently, or ranging about on their own and browsing on vegetation, and as a result fawn sightings skyrocket. Earlier they spent most of their time hiding in the tall grasses or the forest and nursing from the does.  For awhile they will derive nourishment both from feeding from the mother and grazing, but by autumn they will be weaned in most cases.

Whitetail Fawn In Late Evening
At this time of year more than any other, most whitetail photo opportunities occur either extremely early in the morning or late in the evening.  In the photo above a fawn did appear while the rays of the evening sun were still hitting the meadow, but often the deer appear after the best photographic light is gone.

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.

9 comments:

bobshank said...

Great blog post as usual, Willard! I enjoy your photos and narrative stories. I also always learn a lot! This year I am going to try to photograph more animals than just the elk. Your blog is an inspiration to me in this endeavor. Thanks!

Frank said...

The compostion and light of the buck in the meadow is superb Willard.

Tammy said...

Beautiful! Love that foggy shot.

HANNIBAL said...

Nice finds Willard! I am still waiting for that turn around here. The fawns are still hidden, but any day now...Can't wait!

BrandNewStudio said...

WonderfulPictures
GoodCreations

Stephani said...

Even though these weren't tken in the Fall, they make me long for Fall even more! With temps hovering around 100, Fall can't get here too soon! It's so dry and hot hear.

Feral Female said...

Beautiful images as always Willard! We have been seeing more deer over the past couple of weeks now that you mention it.

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

These photographs are awesome. The lighting, composition and angles are fantastic. I especially like the last picture of the fawn.

Paul said...

Willard...I really like the sharpness and color of your deer photographs...