During my visit to the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, I had the incredible opportunity to capture a stunning image of a Whitetail Buck in the early stages of growing its velvet antlers. This majestic creature was gracefully feasting in a cornfield. As you can witness in the accompanying photograph, it becomes evident that these cornfields will soon provide the deer with ample cover, making it increasingly challenging to spot them amidst the towering crops.
What truly surprised me during this encounter was observing the deer munching on the leaves of the corn plants, even at this early stage of their growth. I had always held the belief that deer primarily targeted the young corn shoots, reserving their appetite for corn on the cob later in the year. However, my experiences over the years have enlightened me to the fact that deer indeed indulge in the more mature leaves of the corn plants.
For me, photographing deer in these head-high cornfields is a particularly intriguing endeavor as it adds a captivating element to the overall composition. I meticulously scan the vast expanse of the cornfields, hoping to capture glimpses of the deer’s features, whether it be the distinguished antlers of a buck or the delicate ears of a doe. As the corn continues to grow and the deer become increasingly concealed within the dense foliage, my focus shifts to observing their departure from the cornfields, as they seek a resting spot for the approaching morning. A fascinating sight awaits me as they often gravitate towards the open area nestled between the cornfields and the nearby trees, where they prefer to bed down.
Note: I’m including a picture I took the next month after snapping this one to demonstrate how the corn has grown. It also illustrates the challenge of spotting these deer amidst the corn.
Witnessing the interplay between the deer and their cornfield habitat has been a rewarding experience for me as a wildlife photographer. It serves as a reminder of the intricate dynamics within nature and the constant surprises it bestows upon us.
Here is another Whitetail Buck in velvet I photographed on June 19, 2021: 8 Point Whitetail Buck In Corn
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date and Time Taken: May 23, 2023 (09:39 A. M.)
- Exposure Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f8
- Shutter speed: 1/1600
- ISO: 1000 (Auto)
- Exp. Comp.: 0
- Focal Length: 500 mm