I almost missed spotting this little guy at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oklahoma. Hidden in the thick weeds was a Whitetail Fawn Buck, perfectly camouflaged. If he had not moved, I would have likely driven right by without noticing him.
Meet the Button Buck
This fella is called a button buck because his antlers haven’t yet grown in. He just has two tiny bumps or “buttons” on the top of his head. The buttons on this particular buck are a bit larger than usual, almost classifying him as a spike buck.
Capturing the Moment
I was parked along the side of the road with my camera and long lens resting on a bean bag draped over the open window of my pickup truck. This allows me to stabilize the lens and get some great shots without alarming the wildlife.
The buck was about 30 yards away, foraging in the brush. I watched him slowly meandering along, taking his time munching on vegetation. Whenever he would pop his head up, I would grab a few photos.
The Growth Process
Whitetail deer fawns are born in late spring and by summer are developing their first set of antlers. Button bucks are usually around 6 months old when they start growing the nub antlers. In another 6 months, this little guy will shed the buttons and grow his first impressive set of antlers.
A Thrilling Experience
It was thrilling to capture these images of a button buck up close in its natural environment. I love being able to observe undisturbed wildlife behavior in moments like these. Stay tuned for more photos from my recent Oklahoma trip!
- Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark III
- Lens: EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date & Time Taken: September 13, 2010 (07:48:41 A.M.)
- Aperture Priority
- Aperture: f5.0
- Shutter speed: 1/1000 sec. (as determined by the camera)
- ISO: 800
- Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
- Focal Length: 500 mm
Encounters like these are what make wildlife photography a truly special and rewarding passion. Being able to witness the growth and behavior of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat is an experience like no other.
Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer