As September progressed, I continued to photograph White-tailed Deer, focusing primarily on the buck. The photograph below was made on September 10th at 7:38 PM, one minute before sunset. Most of the deer I have seen at that time of year had already lost their velvet. His was still attached.
Here is a four-point walking along the woods line.
A slight drizzle on an overcast evening created an even lighting. I like the result.
It was nearing darkness on the evening this four-point was frightened. An iso camera setting of 1250, f/stop of f4, provided a shutter speed of 1/160 which wasn't enough to stop action.
The setting sun of this warm evening highlighted the insects between me and the deer. To me, the insects add a reality to the photograph because no warm Pennsylvania evening is without them. However, they can be distracting in a final photo so in the remaining backlit images, I removed the insects with Photoshop.
A six-point with a silver lining.
Severe backlighting creates a photograph that is tough to post-process. This eight-point walked out of the woods and stood majestically between me and the sun.
Taking time to clean.
Heading back into the woods.
As we get closer to the whitetail breeding season, known as the rut, the neck will swell. Neck swelling is directly related to the testosterone levels that increase as the breeding season nears. I have heard that it is natures way of protecting their necks during the aggressive behavior when competing for a doe in heat.
This buck, I called him "Rusty" because of the rust colored patch of hair on his forehead, walked right up to me as I stood wearing my Kwik Camo blind. When he noticed me he ran back into the woods only to emerge again about 50 yards away. I made this photograph on his second trip.
At one point I had 13 big boys in the same field.
Two bucks began to spar in the mature soy bean plants. I photographed for about 30 seconds and realized the photos really didn't show much because the deer had their heads down most of the time. I switched to video to catch the very end of the sparring. I continued to shoot video until I was certain they were finished.
White-tailed Buck Sparring
I'm going to wrap-up this post with a few more images of this impressive animal and a little less reading.
Please know that the rut and hunting seasons of October, November, and December are very stressful on the White-tailed Deer. They don't act normally and road kills are more frequent. If they are not chasing a doe in heat they are running for their lives and DO NOT know how to watch for traffic. So, for the sake of protecting your vehicle and to not harm these animals, please slow down and watch for the running deer when driving.
Built to fight.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Be safe on the roads and watch for the deer!
Until next time,