I’m sharing this closeup photo of a white-tailed deer fawn that I took back in August 2009 at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. My reason for posting this blast-from-the-past shot is to illustrate how much easier it was to approach and photograph the deer at close range several years ago compared to now in 2023.

Up Close with a White-Tailed Fawn

Up Close with a White-Tailed Fawn

Back in 2009, I was able to park my pickup truck and snap this frame of the fawn from inside the vehicle. My camera and lens were resting on a bean bag draped over the open window, allowing me to get quite close without disturbing the animal.

In recent years, it seems the deer at the refuge have become more wary and difficult to photograph up close. The refuge has been doing great improvements like adding new gravel to the roads, but the noise likely pushes the deer further back into the woods. The increased wild hog eradication program, with all the accompanying gunfire, has probably also made the deer more cautious around vehicles and people.

So while it’s tougher to get close-up shots of the white-tailed deer now, I’m not really complaining. The refuge’s efforts are welcomed. But this photo of a more trusting fawn from 14 years ago reminds me of how special those close encounters were back then. I feel fortunate to have captured this moment and will continue visiting the refuge, hoping for more magical closeup experiences!

Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens: Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS


  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date & Time Taken: August 13, 2009 (07:30:49 A.M.)
  • Aperture Priority
  • Aperture: f5.6
  • Shutter speed: 1/250 sec. (as determined by the camera)
  • ISO: 800
  • Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
  • Focal Length: 500 mm

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Whitetail Fawn Buck