This July, I had the opportunity to photograph an incredible 6-point Whitetail Buck in velvet at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma.
I arrived at Sequoyah just as the sun was rising on the morning of July 26th, 2022. The refuge is an amazing location for observing and photographing wildlife, especially the Whitetail Deer that inhabit the area. As the first light of dawn started illuminating the landscape around 7:04 AM, I spotted him – a gorgeous 6-point Buck with a stunning set of velvet-covered antlers. I knew immediately that this regal animal needed to be the subject of my photos for the day.
I was driving along the auto tour road early that morning when I spotted the buck in the distance. He was nestled in the shadows cast by the thick brush, with no direct sunlight reaching him. I pulled my pickup truck over and parked, making sure not to make any sudden noises that would disturb the deer. From inside my truck, I grabbed my camera with telephoto lens and slowly placed it on a beanbag. Even though he was enveloped in shadow, I was thrilled to be within range to photograph this elusive buck. Using a fast lens and high ISO, I was able to snap some shots of his towering velvet-covered antlers. Without direct light, it was a challenge to capture the details of this majestic 6-point buck, but the mood created by the shadows made for an unforgettable image of a deer in his natural habitat. Seeing him through my lens in this cloaked brush setting was awesome.
I’m thrilled that I was able to capture such a graceful creature in his natural habitat. The opportunity to photograph wildlife in their own environment is the most rewarding part of being a nature photographer. This buck was the perfect subject and I can’t wait to return to Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge to see what other natural wonders I might encounter.
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date and Time Taken: July 26, 2022 (07:04 A. M.)
- Program: Aperture Priority
- Aperture: f7.1
- Shutter speed: 1/400
- ISO: 6400
- Exp. Comp.: +0.7
- Focal Length: 500 mm