White-tailed Deer: The Band

Like Clint Eastwood in the movie “The Outlaw Josie Wales” they are always looking for an edge.  They will position themselves on top of a ridge because it offers good lines of sight and two or three downhill – for fast running – escape routes. 

I went hiking yesterday and they taught me another lesson about seeking an edge.  I had seen several deer near the campground when I got to the park.  So I parked where I usually do, about two miles from there so I could have a nice hike.  I had decided to walk the edge of the park and come in from behind where I had seen the deer.  We had a dusting of snow which limited the crunchiness and muffled the noise of me walking.  It also made tracking very easy.  With the temperature in the twenties – that would be around minus seven Celsius – I had a pleasant hike getting to where I knew the deer would be.  The wind got a little chilly on the way, but nothing too troubling, until I got to the campground.

The deer had placed themselves at the outer-edge of the campground with their backs to it.  That gave them the ability to see across the entrance road and into a pair of very large fields.  As I said the new snow muffled my footsteps so they wouldn’t be able to hear me, but what I had not accounted for was the wind.  On the way there it had been in my face, but when I got to the campground behind the deer, it was at my back.  They couldn’t hear me, but they could smell me and before I could even get into position to get a shot, I saw a deer with its tail raised as it ran downhill away from me.

Because I hadn’t accounted for the wind, instead of getting several easy shots, I ended up having to track them for another two and a half miles before I could get a shot.  They settled down after awhile and let me take several pictures like the one below.


Like I’ve said in other posts, I’ve been seeing a lot of deer lately.


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February 2010
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