Majestic Survivor – The 9-Point Whitetail Buck

I photographed a special sight last week while driving the auto tour road at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma – a gorgeous, 9-point Whitetail Buck emerging from the brush and crossing the road ahead of me. Even having photographed deer at this refuge many times before, I felt awestruck seeing this healthy buck up close. His antlers were in full form, with 9 regal points that glinted in the sunlight as he trotted by my vehicle.

A Close Encounter with a 9-Point Whitetail Buck Crossing The Road
A Close Encounter with a 9-Point Whitetail Buck Crossing The Road

This is not my first encounter with this particular buck. Over numerous visits to Sequoyah NWR, I’ve spotted him on multiple occasions this year. It’s always a thrill to see this fellow again, knowing he has endured another cycle of hunting season and the winter months. Unfortunately for him, he still faces threats this week – the refuge opened for its final 3 days of special deer hunting.

As a wildlife photographer, I normally don’t “root for” one animal over another. But I must admit, I will be watching closely for any sight of this Whitetail Buck after the hunt concludes. Knowing he has dodged bullets and arrows this season, I can’t help but admire his will to survive. My fingers are crossed that his natural instincts and speed carry him safely through these final days, allowing me to photograph his beauty and strength for seasons to come. Wherever you are out there, good luck my friend! May we meet again on the refuge trails once you’ve outsmarted the hunters once more.

Image Information:

  • Date: 11/23/22
  • Time: 09:45 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 800mm F11
  • ISO: 5000
  • Aperture: 11
  • Shutter: 1/800
  • Exp. Comp.: +0.3
  • Lens (mm): 800
  • Program Mode: Manual