White-tailed Deer Basics

I have a friend who is a professional photographer.  I had asked her what I needed to take pictures of wildlife, in particular deer pictures.  She picked out a lens and I looked it up online and of course, her being a professional photographer, a lens that costs more than two thousand dollars probably seemed like no big deal.  Not willing to spend that kind of money on one lens to satisfy my hobby, I asked her what else I could do to take better pictures.  She asked a simple but annoying question.  “Well, can you get closer?”

Getting closer means understanding your subject.  That meant reading hunting magazines and articles about deer behavior.  It meant talking to people who hunt or take pictures in the outdoors.  Having two friends who are professional photographers helped.  My father also turned out to be a great source on how to find and stalk deer because in a younger day he always brought home deer during hunting season.


White-tailed deer have two basic responses to perceived threats.  One, they will simply run away.


They’re fun to watch running, but that usually means the end of your shots.


Their second reaction to a perceived threat is to hold.


In this case I had insinuated my way into a small herd of deer and we hiked slowly along for about a mile.  In the above pictures I am about thirty feet off the hiking trail in the woods with the deer and a woman is passing on the hiking trail.  The deer have gone into a “hold” position.  Eyes locked on the perceived threat, ears bent toward the threat, and their hairs standing slightly upward, which probably increases their sensory perception. 

Now for that annoying question, Is this close enough?


2 Responses to “White-tailed Deer Basics”

  1. April 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    i think you’ve done well to get that close, nice pics


  2. 2 Randy Roberts
    April 16, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Thank you…

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April 2009

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