Well, this was one big boy and he was making sure no competitors got too close to his ladies. Taken at the end of November just as the rut was wrapping up, the bucks still had those hormones raging and were not ready to go quietly into the winter.
One last “top shots” video recapping my 2020 photo year. Today, I look back at some of the mammals that I photographed. From the tiny American pika to the massive moose, I was fortunate to spend time with some pretty amazing creatures. Two new animals that I had never photographed were highlights including a suburban bobcat family and the wild #horses of Sand Wash Basin. All images taken here in Colorado.
This poor guy looked like he was having a bit of a rough day.
One of his antlers was already broken off and then he had a magpie on his back. Kind of a fun shot though and it shows a common interaction between the two species.
Birds will oftentimes “catch a ride” on the back of ungulates like deer and bison. They aren’t being lazy though. In fact, they do this in a search for food, picking ticks and other bugs off the deer.
This benefits both species and is a symbiotic relationship. The birds get a meal while the deer gets itself rid of the insects that could cause discomfort and even infection.
Something sure got this big boy’s attention and his nose wanted to investigate. This mule deer buck was hanging out with a few does but also with a couple competitors nearby.
Ungulates like elk and deer and some other mammals do what is called the flehmen response. They lift their lips and open their mouths to take in more of a scent, just as you or I do when taking a big whiff of something.
I don’t know if this guy was smelling the ladies or perhaps it was because I didn’t shower that morning before venturing out. 😀
The rut is almost over but the hormones continue to rage a bit. Bucks are hard at work trying to woo the does, sometimes with little success. Such was the case with this young fellow.
I spotted the buck and doe approaching from one side of my truck and they were moving fast. She clearly wanted nothing to do with him and she raced across the road and toward a distant tree line with him giving pursuit the entire way.
These deer can run 35 mph and I believe they had to have been running every bit of that. I don’t know if he was ever successful in catching his potential mate as they disappeared into the distance. She clearly took the “playing hard to get” to the extreme as fast and far as she ran. 😉
A calm, cool morning on the Colorado plains and the sun was just starting to pop over the horizon. The warming light had illuminated the clouds in orange but had yet to reach the surface. This handsome white-tailed deer buck was doing as they do this time of year, following a doe looking for love. I don’t know if he ever caught her but I am grateful he paused long enough to allow me to get this capture.
Check out this guy! He definitely thought he was all that and a bag of chips! 😉
I spotted him yesterday as he followed a doe around, showing what the rut is all about. As they passed by, he stopped and gave me this fantastic pose. He isn’t a huge buck but certainly no slouch either and looked pretty danged cool.
Quite the handsome fellow on one morning this past weekend. The smoky skies gave everything a bit of an orange glow but it gives the image a warm feel. Very soon this guy and his buddies will start losing the velvet on those antlers and then the rut will begin as they compete for the love of the ladies.
Well, this little one sure knew how to ham it up for the camera!
Taken a couple of weeks ago, the deer fawns were out in force giving me a number of great photo ops. In particular, this white-tailed deer fawn seemed to enjoy the attention, smiling big for its chance. Okay, it could be I just caught a picture of it with its mouth open as it was eating but saying it was smiling is more fun. 😉
Have a great day, everyone!
It doesn’t get much cuter than this!
This white-tailed deer fawn and its mom were hanging out in a wooded area and pretty well concealed from view. As I struggled to get into a spot where I could get a shot of the little one, it decided to cooperate and step out into the open. The little turn of the head made it look like it was purposefully posing for me.
On this morning I saw quite a few fawns, both white-tailed and mulies. All are getting notably bigger and beginning to lose their spots.