After a spring and summer with very little time to pursue my outdoor photography, my wife and I finally found time for a short vacation. I had hopes of finding some interesting photo ops and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge did not disappoint.
While waiting for the sun to make its appearance a small sika stag crossed the shallow water of the wetlands. The little deer didn't seem to bother the geese as it passed by. This was my very first time photographing a sika deer.
A short time later a larger stag appeared in the wetlands opposite to where the first appeared. This deer sported much larger antlers and a much larger body as well.
The stag paused a couple of times as it crossed the meadow.
I'm guessing that the sika rut is on as the stags seemed to be traveling with a purpose, much like rutting whitetail buck, a species which I am much more familiar with.
Sunrise over the Wetlands
And on the way out of the refuge another stag crossed the road and paused on the bike path. While I had photographed the previous deer using the 600mm lens, this one I shot hand-held out of the car window using the Canon 100-400 lens. After a number of trips to Assateague without so much as one photograph of a sika deer, to see four stags and photograph three, all in one morning made for a surprising outing!
A few days staying on Chincoteague Island, photographing wildlife, and walking the Assateague beach were most relaxing. I will be sharing more photos from this adventure in the coming days.
Beautiful shots of the deer, Coy! And the skies are gorgeous.
So glad to hear you got a bit of vacation, and even better that you saw the sika deer and got such wonderful photos! I especially like your sunrise shots. I'll look forward to seeing more.
Beautiful shots. I've always wanted to see the wild ponies there.
Those are awesome photos, when did you take these pictures I am going down this weekend with my family to enjoy the refuge hopefully they will still be rutting. Were these spotted from the wildlife loop
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