November can be a tricky time for wildlife photographers hoping to capture images of whitetail deer bucks here in Arkansas. The hunting pressure is high during this rut season, making the bucks very cautious and keeping to the thick cover. However, I had an exciting encounter with this nice 8-point buck that made hiking the thick brush worth it.
I was walking along a game trail at Chaffee Crossing in Fort Smith, Arkansas, hoping to see signs of deer activity. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted movement, and was thrilled to see this mature buck walking down the trail straight toward me. Thanks to the beginning of the rut, this buck was on a mission and failed to notice me at first.
I quickly stepped behind a large tree and readied my camera and lens. My heart raced as it seemed like the regal buck would walk right up to me. However, the sound of my camera shutter gave me away. Though he never spotted me, my presence was made known. He turned and walked into the woods.
Though our encounter was brief, I’m thrilled to have captured this photograph of this majestic buck in broad daylight. Moments like these make the early mornings and patience worthwhile for a wildlife photographer. I can’t wait to return to the trails and see what other exceptional wildlife encounters await right here in Fort Smith.
- Camera: Canon EOS 40D
- Lens: Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
- Location: Chaffee Crossing (Arkansas)
- Date Taken: November 16, 2008
- Aperture: f11
- Shutter speed: 1/250 sec.
- ISO: 400
- Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
- Program Mode: Aperture Priority
- Focal Length: 400 mm