I Think He's Noticed Me

A wild mule deer buck, Odocoileus hemionus, in the badlands of western North Dakota in late August. More specifically, this would be a Rocky Mountain mule deer, O. hemionus hemionus. I'm rather proud of this shot. Sure, I've seen better shots of deer out there, but I didn't take any of those myself. I also didn't spend an hour stalking any of those deer from the top of a butte like I did with this one.

 

I went up a butte/ really steep hill to look for snakes. Since one only finds snakes when one is not looking for them, I didn't see any. What I did see is a mule deer buck grazing near a large rock way down in the valley. I was downwind, uphill, and far away, so he didn't notice me.

 

I decided I would hike/ fall/ slide down the side of the butte/ really steep hill and sneak up on him. It took a long time, and finally as I was hiding behind a rock, he accidentally stumbled upon me. I managed to get a few shots off while he stood there sniffing before he and his companion bolted. This is the last shot of that series. Of course then I had to make it back up the butte/ really steep hill. Thank God for small junipers with really sound root foundations. They make adequate climbing ropes.

 

I know what kind of deer this is, but if anyone knows what point rating his rack would receive, I would like to know. I know hunters tend to rate antlers on a 1-10 point scale, or something like that, based on size and whatnot. I am curious as to how well this one rates.

 

Also, is the photo too dark? One thing I hate about photography that's viewed on a computer is it looks different to different people. It depends a lot on the monitor being used, what angle it's viewed at, and what personalized settings the monitor is on. That said, this looks ok on my monitor, and the settings and angle I use with it, but I can't speak for everyone.

21,187 views
25 faves
23 comments
Taken on August 30, 2009