Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Whitetail Wear & Tear

While photographing a young buck recently, I noticed that his left eye had a whitish clouded spot.

As he moved nearer I focused on his left eye, attempting to get a better view of his problem.

A heavily cropped section from the photo above shows a badly damaged area covering much of his pupil area, possibly rendering his blind in this eye.   How it happened is anyone's guess.  It does appear to be healing well and judging from his actions his injury does not seem to be limiting him in the least.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Whitetail Breeding Continues

While the 2015 whitetail rut is now a memory, some breeding activity continues.  This doe apparently did not conceive earlier during the rut and is again receptive to a bucks advances.  If this mating was successful it will result in the doe giving birth in early July. 

The following sequence of photos were of the mating encounter observed this morning.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Scavenging Predators

Discovering a winter-kill along an old logging road during early March I took the opportunity to document the various animals that passed by and or fed upon the carcass.    By placing a simple trail camera nearby I was able to monitor the carcass and collected thousands of images while doing so over the next two months.  Starting in mid March turkey vultures began visiting almost daily, however this post will focus upon the visiting predators.

Twice during the filming a bobcat passed by but apparently did not stop to feed.  The most voracious mammal scavengers were the raccoons , with some nights finding raccoons feeding from dusk until dawn and sometimes as many as four animals in one photo.

Following the raccoons in visit frequency were the opossums.  The opossum visits started the last week of March after some decay had began.  The opossum visits continued until the last remnants had disappeared.

Once in early April and then again three weeks later a black bear was captured passing the carcass.  However as in the case of the bobcat visits no images captured the bear feeding.  Also during April the carcass was visited and fed upon a number of times by a red fox/foxes.

 By late April the carcass the meat was virtually gone with only skin and bones remaining.  It was only then that the coyote visits began and soon both the skin and bones were carried away.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Speed: A Whitetail Defense

 Whitetail deer have a number of defensive tactics to draw from in their attempt to survive hunting seasons.  Four photos below illustrates one oft used and very successful defense, running.  While deer can be shot running the fast moving deer is a very difficult target.  Not only is the deer capable of  running at speeds well in excess of 30 mph but it can also bound high into the air and change directions on the proverbial dime, all without slowing!

The defensive tactic of the buck pictured below is not nearly as effective.  He was taken on the first day of the firearms hunting season three days after I captured this image.