Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chasing Images from the Rut

Buck following a doe
With this year's whitetail rut now in the past it is time to review, process, and catalogue the images from the season.  Rut photographs fall into a number of categories, portraits, rubbing, scraping, sparring, fighting, running, and chasing.  This set of images are from the chasing category. 

Buck looks on with the receptive doe in the foreground
I usually depend upon Shenandoah National Park for my best rut photos.  However with the collaring and tagging of the ongoing deer study being conducted there the mature bucks were useless as photo subjects.  With no other area holding a significant number of mature bucks within driving distance I was forced to focus on the bucks of my home area.  Hunting pressure seldom allows a buck to grow to full maturity here.

A fawn reacts to the momentary attention of a buck
While these local bucks antlers are nowhere in the league of the big park bucks they are significantly better than what our area offered before the current antler restrictions were imposed.  Prior to antler restrictions the bucks pictured in this post would have been considerably above average for our area as most bucks carried spikes or very small 3-6 point racks and were only 1 1/2 years old. 
Today a significant percentage of our bucks live to become 2 1/2 years of age and typically carry 6-8 points total.  I cannot say for sure what the age of the buck in the first two photos is but I would guess that he is 2 1/2 years of age, while I can say with certainty the the buck pictured above is 2 1/2. 


Montanagirl said...

Beautiful images, Coy! I can never even get close enough to a Whitetail to get a decent shot. Plus, it'll take several years for them to come back after "Blue Tongue" etc.

imac said...

Just beautiful - from your camera Coy.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours my friend.