Photographing whitetails well is never easy and most of the time it’s downright difficult. Whitetails like any wildlife are uncooperative at best and in hunting country they are downright elusive. It’s no secret that most great deer photographs are taken either in parks where the deer are not hunted or are of domestically reared animals in fenced enclosures.
For those who do not have access or the desire to photograph penned deer (myself included) the national parks offer a great option. With the protection the parks afford, animals can grow to reach their full potential. The deer become accustomed to non-threatening human encounters and become so acclimated that they will act naturally while in close proximity to the photographer. These deer will frequently allow the photographer to move about to obtain the best lighting and background angles.
With all of the advantages these deer offer, getting the great shot is seldom easy. Great poses often last for only a moment so it pays to keep alert with the camera solidly anchored on the tripod and the exposure & ISO set when in close proximity to your subject. What was just a so so scene a moment ago can change in a heartbeat, and only for a heartbeat. Miss that shot and you will have a memory, a memory of the shot that could have been.
I carry some of my very best shots around in my mind, the shots I missed!