Sunday, October 23, 2016

Whitetail Pre-Rut Gives Excellent Photo Opportunities

Whitetail Buck Performs Lip-Curl In Early September
For today's post we shift our attention from the Pennsylvania elk rut  to the pre-rut of the Pennsylvania whitetail deer.  The pre-rut begins about the time that the bucks shed their velvet in late August to mid-September. One may see bucks lip-curling or sparring with other bucks while still in velvet, but this activity increases greatly once the velvet is shed and the pre-rut begins.

The pre-rut intensifies in October and whitetail movement patterns change.If you watch the same area on a regular basis, it seems that you mostly see the same bucks throughout the late summer and into early fall. In many cases these are young bucks that were born in that area and have not yet dispersed.

Resident Buck Scenting For Does
As the pre-rut progresses, it becomes more common to see different bucks, some of which are only seen a time or two before moving on to another area, and others which  end up spending most of the rut there. Featured below is a series of photos of a fine eight-point that I have seen one time so far this fall.  It will be interesting to see  if  he returns or if this proves to be the only sighting.

Exciting photo opportunities can develop when more than one buck is present.  No other buck was there to challenge the large buck as he passed through, but on another day a seven-point arrived and challenged a six-point that was already there.

After a brief tussle the bucks broke contact and looked about for danger, before resuming the contest.

This never rose to the level of serious combat, but as the full-blown rut arrives the probability of witnessing a serious fight will drastically increase.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


Ruth Hiebert said...

Amazing pictures.

Linda G. said...

Awesome pictures!

Willard said...

Thanks for the kind comments.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.