September 26 – Pass (on) the buck

I finally had a chance to go deer hunting, 11 days after the opening of archery season.  After spending most of the day working on some new interior doors, I got my gear together and headed out to Lowell’s.  I got into one of my favorite tree stands and tried to let the squirrels entertain me.  I was there about an hour when I saw the distinctive silhouette of deer’s head and ears headed my way.  I stood up while it couldn’t see me as it went through a draw .  My heart was pounding a little.  I thought it would pass on my right, but it came straight to the front.  I turned to get into a better shooting position, then stopped.  It was a buck with three tines on each antler–not legal to shoot in Lewis County.  I slowly sat, laid down my bow and picked up my camera.  It was already fairly dim light, and the old Panasonic is not very forgiving under those conditions.  Nonetheless, I fired away as well as I could.

Rubbing antlers. Grooming

He spent a lot of time rubbing on little saplings, even though his antlers were clearly in hardhorn, with no velvet remaining.   A lengthy bout of grooming was also performed for my viewing pleasure.

Peek-a-boo Walking by

He got kind of spooky a couple of times, and when he crossed the little gully behind me he ran for 20 yard or so.    Otherwise he was rather tolerant of my photographic efforts, and looked up only when he could hear the repeated fake shutter noises from my camera just feet away.  It was hard to get a fast enough shutter speed to stop the motion blur, but after I switched the ISO from 100 to 400 the results improved considerably, as in the bottom two shots.    Click through to see larger versions.

I didn’t see any more deer, though I heard some turkeys fly up to roost in a tree.  It was much colder than I expected, and I was glad when it was time to go back to the car. 

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