Large Velvet 8 Point Whitetail Buck

By | June 9, 2019

I photographed this large velvet 8 point Whitetail Buck last June at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I am unable to visit this refuge now because of a flood (River Rising At Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge).

8 point Whitetail Buck
Large Velvet 8 Point Whitetail Buck – Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge – Oklahoma

Before the flood I was seeing several Whitetail Bucks in different stages of antler growth. I counted eight in one bachelor group. I couldn’t get the photo I wanted because of the light or the distance.

How I Got The Shot – Whitetail Buck

I first saw this large 8 point Whitetail Buck in a cornfield at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma (Moody Ramp Road). The corn stalks were high, so I couldn’t get a photo of the Buck while it was in the field. I did see another Buck and it came out to the edge of the cornfield, and I was able to get a few photos of it. I had an idea of where the larger Buck would go after it left the cornfield, so I drove over to this area and waited. About 15 minutes later I saw this large 8 point Buck coming from the cornfield, and I was able to get this photo.

If you look closely at my photo you will see a large horsefly on the back of the Buck. The horseflies in this area are huge. You can also see that this Buck has a couple of smaller tines at the base of the right antler.

I had my Canon EOS 7D Mark II camera resting on a bean bag draped over the open window of my pickup. I was using a Canon EF 100 – 400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens. I was shooting in aperture priority mode (AV) with a shutter speed of 1/320 of a second at f5.6 and the ISO at 1250. White Balance on auto. I was using single point, continuous auto focus with evaluative metering.

Whitetail Buck Antler Facts

  • In the early spring (generally March or April) Whitetail Deer antlers start to develop. The antlers of a Whitetail are fully grown by late summer.
  • Whitetail Deer antlers are one of the fastest growing tissues known to man. They grow as fast as one and a half inches per day.
  • As the antlers of a Whitetail grow, they are covered with velvet. Velvet is a living tissue that provides the antlers with blood to allow them to grow.
  • Antlers harden in late summer/early fall, and bucks shed their velvet. Bucks will rub their antlers against trees and saplings to rub off the dead velvet.
Author: Steve Creek

An Arkansas-based Wildlife Photographer specializing in the wildlife found in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

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