Whitetail Buck - Shenandoah National Park
In keeping with the Autumn theme for this month, I had a unique opportunity the other week to capture this buck standing on top of a rock, and luck would have it that some decent Fall foliage served up my background. How this actually occurred is all due to the buck hearing another buck creating a rub at the bottom of a knoll, which just happened to be directly below this outcrop of rocks. He climbed up and down those rocks with the grace of a mountain goat!
Some of the Does at SNP are becoming receptive now and the Bucks are keying in on it. The rut is officially underway and things are heating up in the Whitetail world. Competiveness is starting to set in. As the days shorten, their glands go into overdrive. Many believe that cold weather triggers the rut, but it is the “photoperiod,” or the length of the day that marks the beginning of mating season for whitetail deer. However the cold weather does play a part, if it is too warm during the daylight hours the bucks will not move as much as they do when it is cold. The more they roam while its warm, the less comfortable they are, as well as the risk of possible dehydration, so they won't move any more than is absolutely necessary.
Before you know it, females are the only thing that matters to them, and then they start beating up their buddies. They become loners, don't eat properly, don't sleep much and lose most of their good sense and survival skills while running around like crazed beasts, around the clock. They are very agitated and vulnerable during the rut and they totally put their guards down.
For Whitetail Rut photos, info and video clips, please visit the Whitetail Rut 101 section of my web site.
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