One of my favorite pastimes is walking the county road that ends at the gate to my property, which borders Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas. This winding road provides frequent wildlife sightings, and over the years I’ve been able to photograph many types of animals along or near it. Recently, I had the pleasure of capturing images of a young white-tailed buck starting to grow his first set of antlers.

A Young Buck Sporting Spring Antlers

A Young Buck Sporting Spring Antlers

While strolling down the road, I noticed the buck grazing in the grass adjacent to the roadside. He seemed focused on feeding and didn’t immediately notice my presence. I was able to get quite close and photograph the buck showcasing the beginnings of antler growth. At this stage, the new antlers are covered in soft velvet and less than a foot long. It was rewarding to see this young male growing into maturity.

A Young Buck's Emerging Rack

A Young Buck’s Emerging Rack

After snapping several photos, it seems the buck became curious about me. He took a few steps in my direction. I was impressed by his inquisitive nature and willingness to approach me. We observed each other briefly from a distance before it continued walking, crossing the road toward an area I believe is part of his regular bedding ground.

Seeing wildlife like this along the county road never gets old. I particularly enjoy moments like this encounter when I get to have a special connection with an animal. Seeing the buck go about its natural behaviors so close is a privilege. Photographing and observing this young deer gave me a glimpse into the lifecycle of these majestic creatures.

The wildlife near Ouachita National Forest always impresses me with its abundance and diversity. Deer like this one thrive in these Arkansas forests and meadows. I look forward to returning to this scenic road and documenting what other creatures I might discover. For a nature lover and photographer like myself, it is a true joy to have this beautiful wilderness ecosystem right on my doorstep. Encounters with thriving wildlife like this curious young buck are the makings of a perfect day.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM


  • Location: Near The Ouachita National Forest (Arkansas)
  • Date and Time Taken: May 7, 2022 (07:29 A. M.)
  • Program Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f7.1
  • Shutter speed: 1/3200
  • ISO: 1250 (Auto)
  • Exposure Compensation: 0
  • Focal Length: 500 mm

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  1. Oklahoma Buck Before Shedding Its Antlers