I was out walking the back roads of the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma a few morning ago when I came upon an exciting wildlife encounter. As I was hiking along an overgrown road on the edge of a large open field, I spotted a young white-tailed deer buck grazing on the far side. He was a spike buck, just starting to grow his first antlers. I slowly moved into a position where I could observe him without disturbing his feeding.
After 10 or 15 minutes, the buck suddenly took off running partway across the field towards me. His gait seemed playful, not alarmed, as he bounded through the tall grass. But about halfway across, something spooked him and sent him fleeing in the opposite direction. I checked the wind – it wasn’t me that had startled him. The buck ran several yards before stopping to look intently at one spot off to my right. He walked around, clearly confused by something he had detected but couldn’t identify. At first I was puzzled too, but soon we both figured out the source of his alarm.
I’ll reveal what startled this young buck in the next installment of my blog tomorrow. Stay tuned for part two and more tales from the refuge! Getting to observe and photograph wildlife in their natural habitat is why I love roaming these wild places with my camera in hand. There’s always a new discovery waiting just around the next bend in the road.
Image Information (First Image):
- Date: 11/5/23
- Time: 8:43 AM
- Camera: Canon EOS R7
- Lens: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
- ISO: 250
- Aperture: 5.6
- Shutter: 1/800
- Exp. Comp.: 0
- Lens (mm): 400
- Program Mode: Manual