On November 27th, I had a memorable wildlife photography encounter at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge. I spotted two Whitetail Fawns that I have been observing over the past several weeks with their mother Doe. One of the fawns has a notch on its left ear, which allows me to identify it from the other fawns on the refuge. These twins were born this past spring, and it’s been exciting to watch them grow.
I usually see them from a distance or take photos from inside my truck. But this particular crisp, late-November morning brought a special opportunity. As the sunrise cast beautiful golden light over the refuge, I spotted the twin Fawns near the road without their mother nearby. I was concerned about where the Doe had gone. I hoped she was off with a buck rather than in danger. The Fawns seemed unbothered, but still I couldn’t help worrying about their mother even after they had wandered off. I kept watching for her to emerge while I took photos of the pair. But the Doe remained absent the whole wonderful time I had alone with her twins. Her continued disappearance occupied my thoughts and distracted me a bit from full enjoyment of my shoot. Though the Fawns were comfortable around my truck and allowed some very special close-ups as the early morning light sparkled on the light coating of frost on their winter coats, my underlying concern for the missing mother continued to nag at me.
I was thrilled to get some close-up shots of these normally elusive twins. With the morning sunlight bathing their winter coats, I got several great photos of the pair. At one point, they approached my truck, allowing me to capture some special tightly framed portraits showcasing their curiosity.
After a few minutes, the fawns bounded back into the brush toward their familiar morning hangout. While bittersweet to leave them, I drove off with a memory card full of incredible early-winter images. Getting to observe these Whitetail twins over recent weeks has been a privilege. And having this November 27th close encounter capped the experience perfectly.
(Note: The Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge does allow deer hunting during authorized seasons.)
Image Information: (First Image)
- Date: 11/27/23
- Time: 08:23 AM
- Camera: Canon EOS R7
- Lens: RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- ISO: 4000
- Aperture: 7.1
- Shutter: 1/500
- Exp. Comp.: +0.3
- Lens (mm): 500
- Program Mode: Manual