Over the past two weeks, I’ve been trying to get photos of a big whitetail buck. More than two weeks ago, I scouted an area and found a promising secluded site where deer had been active. I headed out to that spot the next morning an hour before sunrise. It was well below freezing but I was determined.
One Big Buck
Nothing showed! After sitting very still in the cold for about 2 and a half hours, I got up and started to walk a trail along a ridge above a creek. Out of the corner of my eye, I spied the buck you see above.
He was on the other side of the creek along with another large buck. I couldn’t get a good shot of the second one because of all the brush. As you can see, even this one is a bit hidden. There wasn’t a way to get a clearer shot because once they saw me they were gone.
A little farther down the creek I did see this doe. I love environmental shots which show animals in their elements. She never saw me, which is cool.
Is someone following me?
Well, I was bound and determined to get a better picture of those buck now that I know where they hang out. So a few days later after it snowed, it was really cold, 15 degrees, I set out again. Why in the real cold? You ask. Well, there should be fewer people out and about to spook them. As luck would have it, the bucks were nowhere to be seen. I didn’t get totally skunked though. I did see several does but more to my surprise, I saw a female Belted Kingfisher. I had not seen one in this area in the past. She was too far away to get a decent shot but I just have to show you what I got.
She was very cool to see. However, I wasn’t going to give up on those big bucks so easily so a couple of days later I went back to find them. Again, I started before dawn. As luck would have it this time, I saw both of them but there was not enough light to get the shot. Of course once they saw me, they were gone in a flash. Damn!
It was too early to go back home so I started hike to another area. After walking about mile, I saw a buck laying down. Once he saw me, he got up. I carefully and slowly stalked it being as quiet as possible. To make a long story short, we played hide and seek for about 15 minutes before he bolted into the opening. By the time I got the shot, he was quite a distance away.
Already lost one antler
I think it’s still a pretty cool shot because he has already lost one of his antlers. They normally lose them in late December and January. We don’t get to see them like this very often. After hiking another 2 or more miles, it was time to head back.
I decided to go back to where I had seen the Belted Kingfisher a few days earlier. Perhaps, I could get a better shot. I sat quietly beside the creek in the area where it had been. I was tired after hiking about 7 miles and I was starting to feel the cold. Even the robins were cold. See how the one below is all puffed up trying to stay warm. Even his feet are covered!
One Cold Robin!
Well, all of a sudden my luck changed. I was treated to a spot of sunshine and then a small flock of Easter Blue Birds flew down right in front of me for a drink out of the creek. Not only did it put a smile on my face, it made me feel warm all over and I suddenly realized how very lucky I am.
Eastern Blue Birds, how beautiful!
WOW! How lucky and what a great treat!
Today being Christmas, my wife is working and the kids won’t be here until this evening to celebrate. I decided to try my luck one more time to find those big bucks. I started later than I normally do but the bucks were not to be seen. Maybe it was too cold for them too. It was only 18 degrees with a 5 mile an hour wind.
One thing that I haven’t mentioned, I often see the same doe with her fawn just about every time I’m in this area. They didn’t disappoint me this morning. They always seem calm and pose for me.
Mother & fawn
They too bring a smile to my face. Merry Christmas little ones!
Oh, there was one other surprise this morning. I don’t see these very often but there it was all by itself. It’s a female Common Merganser.
Female Common Merganser
Looking back on the past two weeks, while I haven’t gotten that photo of the big buck in the snow, I have been very lucky. Not only did I get to photograph some beautiful deer but I have been blessed with some other very cool surprises to photograph. I hope that you and your families have the best of luck in the coming year and that it’s filled with pleasant surprises too.
Thanks for stopping by!