Friday, December 24, 2010

Whitetail Deer-A Favorite Animal

While I am continually writing about elk and they are one of my favorite animals, I have spent more time around whitetail deer than any other wild animal.  I never tire of seeing them or photographing them, and while I am fascinated by the large bucks, I enjoy photographing all of these graceful animals regardless as to sex or size. For today I am posting three of my favorite antlerless deer photographs from this autumn.  All were taken with the Canon 7D and the 500mmF4 lens.

The first is a three year old doe, which is in her prime.  An animal such as this will ordinarily have at least one fawn each spring and, frequently have twins.  On rare occasion they may have triplets.

Mature Whitetail Doe

The next photographs are of this year's fawns, and both were taken in November when they were about five months old.  Fawns have spotted coats at birth, but they begin to fade in late August and September, until most have a completely brown or gray winter coat by late September or early October.

Five Month Old Doe
Another Five Month Old Doe
If the young does survive hunting seasons and the rigors of winter, they may have fawns next spring.  Under ideal conditions they may have twins, but in our area of Pennsylvania, most does do not have fawns until two years of age and then they usually only have one. From three years of age on, it is common for them to have twins.

 I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Update From Pennsylvania Elk Country-Visitor Center Hours

According to Paul Staniszewski, Monday December 20th was an overcast day with steady snow in the Benezette area. He and Ron Saffer traveled there that day to photograph elk and found that the large herd of more than 120 cows and calves were still utilizing the Gilbert Viewing Area.

Paul also says," after the hunt this year, several people mentioned to me that the bull in the photo below, was one of the larger bulls that was shot.... Well, this is a photograph that I took of him in town yesterday and I'm happy to report that he is alive and well."

Bull Resting In Benezette: Photo by Paul Staniszewski
We thank Paul  for sharing this photo with us.  They also saw several more bulls and report that bull #36, "Fred" was spotted on Gray Hill.

 Paul also sent the 20011 schedule of operation for the Visitors Center.  Please verify this information from other sources before traveling to Benezette as changes could be made at any time.

The Keystone Country Elk Alliance has announced the days and hours of operation of the Visitors Center for 2011 as follows:

DAYS and HOURS for 2011:

January – March: Saturday & Sunday Only | 9am – 5pm
April – July: Thursday – Monday | 9am – 9pm
August: Wednesday – Monday | 9am – 9pm
September – October: 7 Days a Week | 8am – 8pm
Grounds open Dawn til Dusk
November – December: Thursday – Sunday | 9am – 5pm

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill