White-tailed Deer Favorites of 2020

January 01, 2021  •  4 Comments

During the winter, I like to share by summer and fall White-tailed Deer photos.  Here is a small collection of my 2020 favorites chosen from my White-tailed Deer gallery.  

I found this doe and her fawn feeding in a field in early June.  I stayed far away so they could eat and not be afraid.

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By August, the first year fawns have lost their "baby face".  Their spots will fade somewhat but will remain until their winter coat grows in. 
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Also in August, a buck's antlers are beginning to take shape.

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This photo was made in early September.  You can see how much the fawn's coat is changing.

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In late August and early September, I am grateful to have a farm location that I have permission to set up in a blind to catch deer leaving the woods to feed in a soy bean field.  They love soy bean leaves.  I was shocked to see this beauty step out.

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"Hey ladies, my eyes are down here!"

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Oh, I was really blessed this year.  I had two monster bucks in the same area.  When I told the landowner, he said "Don't worry, they will be gone by the time hunting season starts."  To tell you the truth, I only saw them in that spot one more time.

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The falling leaves of October signify the mating season is near.  I find it to be the best time to photograph a buck in the wild.  If they are on the scent of a doe or guarding a doe, they usually don't run as soon as they see you.

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Of course, that doesn't mean they will stand there forever either.  They are still a wild animal so camera settings need to be accurate all the time.

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I saw this same buck last year and he was a nine point.  This year he gained a point.  I can't always tell if I saw a buck before, but this guy's rack is unique in its width and short tines so there aren't many like him.

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Here are a couple doe I found bedded down in the early afternoon sun.

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This is definitely one of the nicest eight point bucks I found this year.  He was tough to photograph.  He was guarding a doe that was laying down between us.  He was wary of me and stayed up the hill in the thicker stand of trees.  He made one appearance and I got the shot.

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I photographed this White-tailed Deer on the crest of a hill with the brightness of a cloudy sunset behind him. In addition to the silhouette, I like the detail of all the long hairs on the deer's face.
These "Deer Whiskers" are also known as vibrissae. These long hairs are located around a white-tailed deer’s mouth , nose, and eyes as seen in the close-up. Vibrissae are thought to provide a sense of touch, to help animals feel the presence of objects close to the mouth, nose, or eyes. These hairs seem to be common on animals that are somewhat nocturnal.
Vibrissae’s greatest importance to animals with an acute sense of smell may be to determine air movement. Perhaps they are used to “feel the air,” indicating from which direction a scent is coming, whether it’s that of a dangerous predator or a valuable food source.
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Here is a typical example of how a buck guards his doe.  She goes about her business laying down, eating, or on the move.  Meanwhile, he follows her wherever she goes.

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On November 5th, the rut was going strong in western Pennsylvania. I watched a buck follow a doe into thick woods on the side of a slope. The buck was paying attention to the doe but stopped briefly to look at me and I captured this moment when she tried to get his attention. After a few photos they went deeper into the woods and disappeared. 

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I watched a ten point follow a doe into an opening near the woods.  She laid down and so did he.  I'm sure you can see her.  Can you find him?

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The buck will walk just about anywhere for a doe while relying on natural instinct to keep him hidden from danger.

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After a doe walks through an area, the buck will lick either the doe or the ground where she urinated or defecated and inhales for several seconds, sometimes curling his top lip. The Jacob's gland enables him to detect the doe's scent that indicates if she is close or in estrous.

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This is the last photo I'll share in the photo essay.  I find many deer like to walk along a ridge which provides a challenge to photograph.  The bright sky sometimes washes out the background.  I was able to recover this one nicely.

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Thanks for checking out this photo essay.  If you want to see photos that I left out, you can check them out and more in my White-tailed Deer gallery

Take care and Happy New Year.

Dan


Comments

Miguel Acosta(non-registered)
Really enjoyed reading this blog, I have enjoyed photographing deer in the late fall and winter. But year-round is certainly offer a different perspective on the species.
Robert Davis(non-registered)
Wonderful pictures. We really enjoy looking and passing them on to others. Thanks
Patty Gealey(non-registered)
Absolutely beautiful pictures. They take my breath away!!
Joe G.(non-registered)
Dan, Great pictures. I really enjoy looking at them. Joe
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