Once again the alarm jolted me from sleep at an ungodly early hour reminding me that it was time to get moving if I were to make it to Shenandoah National Park in time for the whitetail activity. Twenty minutes later Andy pulled in the driveway and by 2:30am we were headed south. With fifty odd miles of secondary roads to traverse before reaching I-81 it was necessary to keep our speed in check because of the increased deer activity this time of year. Motoring out of Pennsylvania, across Maryland, West Virginia and on into Virginia our headlights frequently illuminated whitetail deer feeding along the roadside.
Expecting to find the SNP Whitetails rutting we were somewhat disappointed with the mornings activity as the deer were mostly feeding and for the most part only small bucks were able to be seen.
Soon after photographic light arrived we spotted this young buck feeding beneath an evergreen in the lower end of Big Meadows. When I saw the buck positioned here I knew exactly how I wanted to make the shot. During one of my visits last year I had noticed the potential of this tree silhouetted against the morning sky. That time no deer were present under it boughs, today there was!
Now if only we can get Andy to post some of his shots from the morning :)
Note: This image was made while the sun was still beneath the horizon with the exposure set for the sky. 135mm focal length, f5.6, 1/3200 sec, ISO200.