As a wildlife photographer, I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to capture incredible animal encounters. During a recent hike at Chaffee Crossing in Fort Smith, Arkansas, I had one such moment when I came face-to-face with a whitetail buck.
I was carefully walking along a game trail, scanning the dense brush and trees for any sign of movement. That’s when I caught a glimpse of antlers – a nice 5-point buck standing perfectly still, staring right at me. We made eye contact and both froze, equally surprised to see each other.
My adrenaline spiked and I swiftly raised my camera, determined to seize this chance. Hand-holding my gear, I composed my shot through the tangled branches and clicked the shutter just as the buck took off running. Thanks to quick reflexes, I was able to capture a clear image of him standing alert and another as he bounded away.
This unexpected wildlife sighting was over in seconds but it left me feeling thrilled and accomplished. As a photographer, there’s nothing more satisfying than snagging a great shot of an elusive animal in its natural habitat. It was purely luck that I encountered this whitetail in the woods but being prepared with my camera at the ready allowed me to turn that luck into a memorable photo. Moments like these make all the effort worthwhile.
I can’t wait to get back out on the trails and see what other amazing encounters await! For now, I’m happy to add this buck photo to my wildlife portfolio.
- Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III
- Lens: Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
- Location: Chaffee Crossing (Arkansas)
- Date Taken: November 19, 2010
- Aperture: f5.6
- Shutter speed: 1/800 sec.
- ISO: 1250
- Exposure Compensation: 0
- Program Mode: Aperture Priority
- Focal Length: 400 mm