As a wildlife photographer, I love visiting the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge this time of year. The refuge’s corn and soybean fields are bursting with life and provide the perfect backdrop for observing wildlife. During a recent trip, I spotted a basket 8 point whitetail buck in velvet foraging in one of the waist-high soybean fields.
Soybeans are like a magnet for whitetail deer, providing them with an abundant food source and protective cover all in one place. The protein-rich beans help deer build fat reserves for the winter, while the dense stalks allow them to remain hidden from predators. For a photographer like myself, these fields offer the ideal combination – open spaces that make spotting deer easy, yet enough cover for them to feel secure.
I had my camera gear set up and ready – a long telephoto lens on a bean bag resting on the open window of my truck. This allowed me to observe the buck undisturbed while capturing some great photographs. The late summer sun cast a warm glow over the scene as the buck slowly worked his way through the rows of beans. His handsome eight-point velvet antlers stood out above the foliage as he would periodically lift his head to check for danger.
Capturing images like this is what drives my passion for wildlife photography. Being able to observe deer and other animals in their natural habitats, going about the business of survival, is a privilege. I’m grateful that places like the Sequoyah Refuge exist, providing sanctuary for both animals and people seeking a fleeting connection with nature. Moments like this remind me why I do what I do.
Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer
- Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark III
- Lens: Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date & Time Taken: August 12, 2010 (06:44:59 A.M.)
- Aperture Priority
- Aperture: f4.0
- Shutter speed: 1/400 sec. (as determined by the camera)
- ISO: 1600
- Exposure Compensation: 0
- Focal Length: 500 mm