I have had the distinct pleasure of being away from work for the past two weeks. During this time I have spent most mornings and evenings pursuing wildlife. The time was very productive and I will be posting these images for quite some time to come.
Rutting Whitetail Deer have always fascinated me. During the rut bucks that otherwise are primarily nocturnal begin moving freely in daylight checking scrapes and following does in estrus. This in turn gives the Whitetail Photographer the opportunity he has been waiting for. This image depicts a nice young buck exhibiting the lip-curling or flehmen response as he checks for a doe in estrus.
The window of opportunity for photographing rutting bucks in our area was quite short this year with the rut beginning two weeks late. This in turn allowed only a few days action before the rifle hunting season opened, totally disrupting the deer’s normal patterns. With the opening of the hunting season my attention shifted to birds and watching for road-hunters and unwelcome trespassers.
Deer season has been relatively quiet although yesterday we had an incident on our family farm where a hunting guest of a neighbor thought it his “God Given Right” to shoot onto our property and kill a young fawn and then go and retrieve it with out asking permission. Perhaps this individual has a learning disability and cannot comprehend that no trespassing means to stay the “H…” OUT and that includes his unwelcome bullets!
As a footnote we had a problem with the neighbor (his first year living here) last year when he shot an illegal buck on our property, drove his atv in and retrieved it and our District Conservation Officer, allowed it all to pass with only a warning. The Pennsylvania Game and Wildlife Code provides charges for trespass while hunting as long as another game code violation is present. In this case I believe this officer is so opposed to personal property rights that he allowed an illegal deer kill to go uncharged just to avoid pressing trespass charges. He assured me that this individual had “received his message”, now it is quite apparent that was not the case!