Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Whitetail Pre-Rut Accelerates as Leaves Change Color

Poison Ivy: Canon 5D MKIII-500mmF4
It is looking more and more like autumn  in southcentral Pennsylvania. The foliage becomes more colorful with each passing day, and the whitetail deer are also more active as the pre-rut picks up tempo. Some of the yearling bucks have not dispersed yet and are still traveling with the family groups which they grew up in.

Young Buck Scents For Danger: Canon 5D MK III -500mmF4 ISO 3200 -1/125sec. f4

Others have dispersed from the family groups and are now exploring new territory and looking for receptive does to mate with.

Buck Performs Lip Curl: Canon 5D MK III -500mmF4 ISO 1600- 1/320sec. f4
In our area many bucks disperse during their first autumn with antlers, but others do not disperse until the following May--assuming that they survive the hunting seasons.  I can recall one buck that was shot by poachers when he was two years of age.  He survived the wound, but did not disperse and did not travel far during the rut because of the effects of the wound.  He did not leave his home range until he was three years of age.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.