I recently had the opportunity to photograph a young white-tailed buck reaching for leaves near Lower Scarborough at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. As I drove along the auto tour road early one July morning, I heard a splash and caught a glimpse of several bucks wading through the dense flooded vegetation. I quickly pulled over, turned off my engine, and waited quietly. After a few minutes, the bucks emerged from the thickets and I was able to capture this photo of one reaching up to nibble some leaves while still in velvet.

Whitetail Buck Reaching For Leaf

Whitetail Buck Reaching For Leaf

The area around Lower Scarborough is choked with vegetation, which made spotting and photographing the elusive deer challenging. However, the bucks eventually wandered close to the edge of the woods where I could get a clear view from my truck. Using my Fujifilm X-T3 camera on a bean bag draped over the open window and my Canon EF 100-400 mm lens, I was able to zoom in and focus on the buck as he foraged.

Early mornings in July are a great time to spot white-tailed deer in velvet at Sequoyah before the velvet starts to wear off later in summer. I was fortunate to capture this young buck in the soft dawn light as he reached for a leafy treat. The thick surrounding foliage helps frame him perfectly.

Here are the camera settings I used for this shot:

– Camera: Fujifilm X-T3
– Lens: Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II with Fringer EF-FX Pro adapter
– Aperture: f/5.6
– Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec
– ISO: 2500
– Focal Length: 400 mm

Getting an opportunity to photograph wildlife behaving naturally like this young buck is always a thrill. His curious gaze and verdant velvet antlers will make this image a favorite from my time spent watching whitetails at Sequoyah this summer. I hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at capturing a majestic buck up close! Let me know if you have any other questions about my photography.

Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer