I was thrilled to capture this intimate moment between a doe and her fawn at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma on August 24, 2018. It was a warm morning, and the pair were nestled in the shade of the trees, grooming each other as the day grew warmer.

Whitetail Doe And Fawn Close-up

Whitetail Doe And Fawn Close-up

I was able to get remarkably close to the deer, as they were bedded down in a darkened, wooded area of the refuge. I almost didn’t take the shot, thinking it was too dark. But I took a chance with a high ISO and fast shutter speed:

Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
ISO: 2000
Shutter speed: 1/100 sec
Aperture: f/5.6

The grainier quality was worth it for the rare, close perspective of the doe doting on her fawn. It’s a special glimpse into the bonds these beautiful creatures share.

Now, a year later in August 2019, I’m reminiscing about this favorite photo while anticipating what the rest of this summer will bring at my beloved wildlife refuge.

I have not seen many Deer this summer. The manager mentioned he had spotted a few, but far less than usual. In fact, this was the first year in over a decade I’ve gone through a summer without seeing a single fawn here.

The heavy flooding we had in May of this year could be to blame. Any fawns born during that tumultuous time may have sadly drowned. But this encounter gave me hope that some survived those storms.