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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

OH Deer - Deer Antler Growth

Over the years I have taken my kids to watch deer in some fields near where we live. I drove to one field with my son and we saw 3 deer. We watched for a few minutes and decided to go to another field down the road to see if we could see more deer. When we returned, there were 18 (yes eighteen) deer in the field. This was in March so no deer had antlers. A couple deer had larger bodies so I assumed they were bucks. The back side of this field is 360 yards away. I took pictures sitting in my truck resting my camera on my window for stability. It was somewhat difficult to keep still with a large zoom. As the light started to disappear I would adjust the aperture, shutter speed and the ISO in various combinations to try to get the best shot at that distance.

One year I went back in June and started taking pictures. One buck caught my eye. It was a very large 8-point buck. He was heavier than the other deer and had the start of a huge rack. There is also a 9-point buck that is very nice. I focused on the large buck. Notice the progression of his antlers, weight, and even fur color as it gets later in the season. The 2 pictures on the left were taken (June 20). The picture on the right was taken (June 30). Notice the antler growth since June 20.  With this I thought I would frequent the fields and take pictures of this deer's antler growth.

(July 25) It was very bright out. The deer were in the shade browsing and resting.

(August 7) The way the big buck was strutting around it was clear he was the dominant buck in the area.

These pictures are from (August 11).

Because of other commitments I wasn't able to get out to look for the deer. The field was also fertilized and the deer don't like that. I did go a couple of times but didn't see any deer. I thought they may have moved to a different area. October was the next time I get out to see deer in that field.

I arrived at one of the fields to look for the deer as I hadn't had time the past few weeks. It was (October 23). Just after 4:00PM several deer came out into the field. I saw a small buck and another buck with 4 points on the left and no antler on the right. Must have been fighting. I kept watching with my camera ready and the blinking light saying my batteries were low. I noticed several deer start to look in the trees at the back of the field. I had my binoculars up scanning the woods. Suddenly I saw movement of a very large rack. I knew it had to be the big 8-point. I quickly replaced my batteries so I didn't potentially miss some good shots. Then I saw him. He came out of the woods 30 yards from where I saw the rack move in the trees. OH MY ... he had put on some weight, his neck was much larger due to the rut, and those antlers ... OH MY again ... There ended up being 15 deer in the field.

I was able to get 11 of the 15 deer in one shot. The big 8 point is in the back row on the right next to the woods. He didn't seem to venture out into the field like the others.

My plan is to go shed hunting in February/March and see if I can find this 8-pointer’s headgear. I have a couple random shots of other deer taken at different times below.

Above are a few random pictures.