Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2012 In Retrospect Part 2

By far the most extensive project that I was involved with was the post production and release of a new film about Pennsylvania's elk herd, "Running Wild In Pennsylvania Elk Country"  While my first film, "The Truth About Pennsylvania's Elk Herd", did show other species of wildlife besides elk, they were shown only in passing and I decided to make the new film more inclusive.  While it still focused primarily on elk, Whitetail Deer came in a close second, with Eastern Wild Turkey not too far behind.  

Originally I had planned on calling the film "Pennsylvania Elk Country", but as it dealt with the other wildlife that could be found in elk country also, my brother Coy suggested that the "Running Wild" be added to the title and after some thought on the matter I decided to do so.  Coy also provided the cover photograph for the film.  This is a dramatic photographic of the character bull "Limpy" taken at sunset on top of "The Saddle".

Cover Photo by Coy D. Hill

Since Whitetail Deer were featured almost as much as elk, several  buck fights were included.  In my experience, it is not too difficult to film sparring matches between bucks during the pre-rut and rut, but it is very seldom that one sees an actual  serious whitetail fight and I have only filmed a few in my life.  The most dramatic I have seen was between two mature bucks in November of 2002.  In this case a large eight-point was standing guard over a doe in heat. At times smaller bucks would appear, but none would challenge him and they would move on, until a slightly smaller, but aggressive eight-point arrived and pitched into him.  This was back in standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio days and the fight was filmed with a Canon XL-1s and stock lens. Since it was so dramatic, I decided to include it in the film, even thought it was not shot in HD.  It was cropped to 16:9 Widescreen aspect ratio to better fit the format of the film.

Below is a brief segment of the first part of the fight.  

Also while I am on the subject of Whitetail Deer I would recommend that you read Coy's series on Whitetail Deer management in Pennsylvania.  He has written two posts about this on Country Captures, which provide a good balanced look at this situation.

 Whitetail Deer Management: My View Part 1
 Whitetail Deer Management: My View Part 2

He plans to write at least one more segment and possibly two more to cover the subject in the depth which it deserves.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.