Monday, November 12, 2007
This past weekend was extremely active for the deer population in my special part of the world that holds the best scenario and luck for spotting bucks. This awesome locale is so great, because I can drive thru wooded areas, along with prairie, and most of it is protected from hunters. I can cruize thru the area without limiting my view to a single site if I were to walk thru, or wait for the deer to pass me by, which wouldn't happen, because they would smell me first and avoid me all together. I saw 9 bucks on Saturday, and 3 on Sunday. Every single one was an individual I had not seen before. On Sunday, there was a guy near the road, which could, under the right lighting, be the perfect subject at the perfect distance for photographic perfection. It was still too dark to even attempt a shot. We (Big R, Cutti and I) waited in a parking lot a few miles down for a good half hour until the conditions brightened up a bit. The morning was dreery, and getting more light out of the morning wasn't happening, so we decided to take our chances and see if the massive buck might still be where we saw him in the dark. We set our cameras to an ISO of 800, and the shutter speed at 1/60. We couldn't force any more speed than that, shooting a 300 mm lens. As we drive to the area, we see him, and can't believe he stayed where he was. There can be plenty of traffic here, and with him sticking out, so close to the road, most drivers would stop to take a better look, and his senses would tell him to move away, but our luck held out and we approached slowly. He stood his ground, as did we, and took all the shots we wanted (2nd pic), and was able to drive off without disturbing him. We also found other bucks in various places, and most were 10 points or better. We saw a buck trying to mount a doe (way too far for a shot), an 11 pointer that had tines that were all jacked up (6th pic), a tiny 4 pointer, and another 10 pointer that had been in a fight with a wound on his mouth and a broken off tine(1st pic). All in all, it was probably the best weekend this season for our shots. The shotgun season starts next friday, so under those conditions, I am sure the deer will be scarce, trying to protect themselves in deep cover. Although this area is protected, the surrounding land is hunted, and shotgun blast sounds can travel long distances, but so can they(deer), so I am hoping they don't wander into this unprotected land and wind up on some egomaniacs wall as a "trophy". From what I have been told, buck meat is garbage, so if a hunter takes a buck, its for his rack, which is ultimately the most selfish "prize" in all of nature, since they throw away the carcass and keep the head. Oh, but their argument is that they do it for us, the people, and it is a service for keeping down the deer population, which in turn, creates less car accidents . Yeah, right! Although that is ultimately true, its not why they are hunting. Oops, sorry, I am stepping off my soap box now...enjoy the photos!