Making good wildlife photographs is challenging but it certainly helps to have acclimated subjects to work with. Its one thing to take a snapshot of a deer but to make a good photograph is an entirely different matter. Having acclimated animals for subjects allows one to move their shooting position to take advantage of lighting angles and backgrounds. These images were captured in Shenandoah National Park where the whitetails are accustomed to being around hordes of tourist throughout most of the year.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Common Feeder Birds
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Pa Deer Season Opens
As daylight seeps across Pennsylvania the firearms deer season will open. Thousands of hunters will take to the woods in hopes of bagging a deer and while they are waiting for a deer to appear there will be other wildlife to entertain during their wait.
Birds such as this Tufted-titmouse will be flitting around in search food
The deer will be on heightened alert and ready to burst into flight at the least sign of danger
And by evening many hunters will have the story of "the big one that got away"!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
A whitetail mother appears to give her young son a big smooch.
And this doe appears to be whispering sweet nothings into her daughters ear.
Both photos taken while the whitetails were grooming
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Thursday, November 24, 2011
Double-takes: Fawn Siblings
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Turkeys for Thanksgiving
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Thoughts on Scents
Monday, November 21, 2011
Woodland Whitetails: Firearms Season Nears
Pennsylvania's firearms deer season will open in less than a week. It has been an incredible season photographing the whitetail rut both in Pennsylvania and SNP Virginia but, as with all good things it must end and here in Pa with the season opener my buck photography will end literally with a bang.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
From Velvet through the Rut
August 10th I photographed this buck as he bounded away when a coyote trotted past
Friday, November 18, 2011
An Hour in a Buck's Life: Part 2
Thursday, November 17, 2011
A Hour in a Buck's Life: Part 1
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Fog can obscure subjects, particularly for the wildlife photographer, but it can also be used to the photographer's advantage.
This shot was made quite early today with a light rain falling as Willard and I watched a meadow hoping for rutting whitetails to appear. Hunting whitetails is always somewhat of a mystery. Will I see any deer? If so, how many? Will any be bucks? If so, how big? Will I get the shot? For me, this image of a mountain meadow shrouded in fog captures the mystery of the hunt.
Without the fog this scene captured earlier in the fall would not have gotten a second glance. However with the suns rays illuminating the wisp of lingering fog an otherwise everyday scene in Pennsylvania's elk country becomes an image of beauty.
Monday, November 14, 2011
With the rut in the forth quarter It's time to get Serious Boys!
If I were a football fan I would expect that I could draw a cute analogy between these bucks and the game. However in my youth "game" had a different meaning altogether. With no TV to distract or entertain I spent my free time roaming the woodlands and streams with gun or rod in hand.
Much has changed since those days but I still don't know a darn thing about ball games and could care less. I still find the outdoors to be more than sufficient to entertain and awe.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Appreciating Whitetail Beauty
While talking with a young fellow, he asked if I had gotten any good pictures during my time off work. Responding with a yeah, I clicked the tab that took me to Country Captures and began showing him a few of my latest whitetail shots from the ongoing rut.
As I scrolled through the images he commented that he has hunted deer and enjoys the occasional spotlighting trip to see deer but that he had never realized how beautiful they are. With that comment I felt that in a small way my photography had made a difference; the images had instilled a little deeper appreciation for the beauty of nature in a young man.
There are many words to describe the beauty of the whitetail but a good photograph conveys the beauty better than any words can ever describe. A young buck alert for danger, framed by the dark woodland and highlighted by the frosty grass in the foreground conveys the very essence of the whitetail's beauty.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Everyone is Doing the Lip-Curl
No matter the size, no matter the age; in the whitetail buck's world Everyone is doing the Lip-Curl.
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Thursday, November 10, 2011
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Having just returned home from two days of intensive whitetail rut photography I have only had time to quickly review the images, deleting the worst misses, and beginning the back-ups. However during the review this image jumped out at me, begging to be processed.
The baleful eye, the bulging muscles, and the narrow shaft of sunlight illuminating just the bucks as they surge together; to my eye it is possibly of the most powerful whitetail image I have ever had the pleasure of capturing.
Actually these bucks were not fighting but rather were engaged in a friendly sparring match. However friendly sparring can become violent at times but the violent agression and the desire to do physical damage to the opponent is not present during a sparring match. These bucks would tussle for a few minutes, take a break, and then resume their game.
Sunday, November 06, 2011
Living the Dream
As the morning began to brighten I greeted another photographer in an SNP parking lot. When he asked what I was there for I answered with one word; Whitetails. He grimaced and said that he only had time to shoot the sunrise. Trying to make the best of the beautiful sunrise developing I located a doe to silhouette against the awesome sky.
Saturday, November 05, 2011
More Scenes From Monday Morning
The first morning of the elk harvest was extraordinarily beautiful. Apparently during the chilly night the area had been shrouded in fog leaving everything, including the elk, coated with frost. The frost and the remnants of autumn foliage created an incredible backdrop for the morning's events to play out against.
A calf searches frantically for its mother shortly after the bull and first cow were harvested
Friday, November 04, 2011
The lip-curl or flehmen response exposes the vomeronasal organ to scent molecules. This organ, also called the Jacobson’s organ located in the roof of the mouth is extremely sensitive, allowing bucks to determine a doe’s state of estrus.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Scenes from the Rut
The Whitetail Rut has kicked into high-gear since the unusually early snow and colder temperatures over the weekend. Normally I would not expect to see rutting activity hit this level until around November eighth in our area.
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
The First Morning Continued........
Upon approaching the party at the downed bull we learned that two elk had been harvested. The guide was with two clients; one with a bull tag and the other holding a cow tag. Both had successfully harvested their animals.
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