While driving the auto tour road at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, I was lucky enough to spot a beautiful Whitetail Doe hidden in the brush. As you can see in the photo, the Doe blends into the surrounding foliage quite well. Only her ears and head are clearly visible as she intently focuses on something off to my left.

Camouflaged Whitetail Doe Nearly Disappears into Foliage

Camouflaged Whitetail Doe Nearly Disappears into Foliage

Both of the Doe’s ears are pointed in the same direction, indicating that she is alert and listening closely. My guess is that she heard a potential threat or rival, like a coyote or buck. The rut is currently happening, so a buck seeking to mate could very well be nearby even though I didn’t spot one. She seems to be looking slightly downward, as if focused intently on something at ground level. Whatever the Doe detected, she seemed cautious and wary. She held her pose for several long minutes, scarcely moving a muscle. I used the time to capture a few photos by resting my camera and long lens on a beanbag draped over the open window of my parked truck.

Eventually the Doe lost interest in whatever had caught her attention. She slowly turned and walked deeper into the brush, disappearing from view. I feel fortunate to have witnessed this serene yet wild moment. The Doe embodied the natural beauty and grace of the Whitetail deer, while also hinting at the constant vigilance required to survive in the Refuge.

Moments like this are why I love wildlife photography. There is nothing quite like observing animals undisturbed in their natural habitat. Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge is one of my favorite places to spot amazing wildlife like this Whitetail Doe. The diversity of species and relatively open access allows for ample photography opportunities if you are willing to go slow, stay quiet, and keep a sharp eye out. I can’t wait to return soon and see what other glimpses of nature I can capture!

Image Information:

  • Date: 11/18/23
  • Time: 08:37 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS R7
  • Lens: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
  • ISO: 5000
  • Aperture: 5.6
  • Shutter: 1/500
  • Exp. Comp.: 0
  • Lens (mm): 400
  • Program Mode: Manual

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A Doe’s Gaze: A Close Encounter at Sandtown Bottoms