Sunday, November 15, 2015

Images From The Whitetail Rut

Mature Whitetail Buck
The area where I do most of my wildlife photography is home to a substantial herd of whitetail deer, but it is not usually good summer range for the bachelor groups of mature bucks. Most of the deer are the does and fawns and the yearling and occasional two year old bucks that are still traveling with the family groups.

In many years buck sighting pick up in early October and the full-blown  rut gets underway during the last week.  But this year things were very slow and I became impatient as it seemed the rut would never start. That changed in the middle of last week and I have been able to photograph several bucks since then and will share some images  of this activity today.

Photos of bucks lip-curling as they search for does in heat often make dramatic photographs. The buck in the photo below tried to breed a doe shortly after the photo was taken, but she ran from him.

Scenting For Does
Whitetail bucks do have serious fights from time to time, but what I usually capture are only desultory sparring matches, which are not violent, but still make for good photo opportunities.

Sparring Match
Other favorite photo opportunities are to capture them making scrapes, checking their scrape lines, and chasing does.

Checking A Scrape

6 Point Erupts From Woods After Doe
Chasing Does
Although the rut will soon peak if it has not all ready, good activity should continue for the next two weeks before it comes to a crashing end because of rifle deer season.

Cameras used were the 5D MK III and the Canon 7D Mark II.  while the lenses were the Canon 300mm f2.8 and the Canon 600mm F4.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


Ruth Hiebert said...

Excellent photos.

Unknown said...

Good shots Willard!

Photography Tips said...

Awesome shots Willard.

Photography Tips

Unknown said...

Willard, this was a great post. Of all the buck I saw this fall I couldn't capture any obvious rut activity. Nice job documenting the rut.