Whitetail Doe Shedding Winter Coat

By | May 15, 2019

In my photo of this Whitetail Doe, you’ll notice that she’s shedding her winter coat.

The thick gray hairs fall out and are replaced by the summer’s new, reddish coat. Compared to the darker winter hair that absorbs the heat of the sun, the red hair reflects the energy of the sun.

I photographed this Whitetail Doe at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma.

Whitetail Doe Shedding Winter Coat
A Whitetail Doe shedding her winter coat – Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge – Oklahoma

How I Got The Shot

This Doe was in the Goss Slough (Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge) area which is where the paved part of the tour road is located.

I had my Fujifilm X-T3 camera resting on a bean bag draped over the open window of my pickup with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens attached with a Fringer EF-FX Pro. I was shooting in aperture priority mode (AV) with a shutter speed of 1/170 of a second at f5.6 and the ISO at 1600. White Balance was set on auto.

Deer Molting Facts

  • Molting is a process where a deer normally sheds its hair twice a year, once in the spring and once in late summer to shed the summer coat.
  • Hair loss generally happens in patches up to completion of the molting phase.
  • The whole method is quick. Generally it takes just a few weeks.
  • Deer in bad physical condition will not lose their hair until closer to the summer (late June). The Doe in my photo appears in great shape.

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