The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma offers a breathtaking spectacle for nature enthusiasts. Among its many wonders, one can witness a fascinating phenomenon: whitetail deer with unusually long hair.

Whitetail Doe With Long Hair

Whitetail Doe With Long Hair

The Weather-Induced Phenomenon

The whitetail deer, known for their elegance and grace, undergo a shedding and regrowth cycle of fur. Typically, this occurs during the spring and fall seasons. However, in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, a peculiar sight awaits visitors. Numerous deer display coats that extend beyond the usual length, a direct result of weather conditions in the region.

Adaptation to Harsh Winters

Oklahoma’s winters can be unforgiving, with temperatures plummeting below freezing for extended periods. Yet, the whitetail deer in the Wichita Mountains have developed a remarkable adaptation strategy. By growing longer and thicker coats, these resilient creatures gain an advantage in surviving the frigid conditions.

The additional length and density of their fur provide the deer with superior warmth and insulation. With energy conservation being critical during the harsh winters, this adaptation helps them endure the challenges they face. Their ability to adapt to the surrounding environment is truly awe-inspiring.

Capturing the Beauty

As a witness to this stunning spectacle, I aimed to capture the intricate details of the whitetail doe’s long hair. Armed with my trusty Fujifilm X-T3 camera, equipped with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens, and enhanced with a Fringer EF-FX Pro adapter, I was ready to embark on a photography adventure.

To ensure stability and maximize the chance of capturing those mesmerizing moments, I positioned the camera setup on a bean bag resting on the open window of my pickup truck. This allowed me to capture the intricate beauty of the doe’s extended coat, showcasing nature’s extraordinary adaptation in all its glory.

Conclusion: Nature’s Marvels

Encountering a whitetail doe with its long hair is a poignant reminder of the awe-inspiring ways in which animals adapt to their surroundings. Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge serves as a testament to the resilience of wildlife and the extraordinary features found in nature.

Whether it’s the weather-induced phenomenon of extended coats or the stunning landscapes, the refuge continues to surprise and inspire visitors. Witnessing the whitetail deer’s adaptation to survive the harsh winters serves as a humbling reminder of the remarkable resilience found in the animal kingdom. Let us cherish and protect these natural wonders for future generations to behold.

Camera Settings

  • AV Mode
  • Aperture f8.0
  • ISO 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1/350 sec.
  • Focal Length: 400 mm

Here are several more photos I took last week at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge:

Wild Texas Longhorn

Black-tailed Prairie Dog With Muddy Nose

Two Rio Grande Turkeys Displaying

Charon’s Garden Wilderness

Jed Johnson Tower