Archive for February 8th, 2010

08
Feb
10

Growing Up Whitetail Part II

Last spring I took this shot of a young buck in velvet.

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He might have weighed about a hundred and twenty pounds then.  A scrawny looking buck, but good-sized considering he wasn’t even a year old at the time.  During late spring and early summer the bucks tend to band together, while the does have their fawns and begin nursing.

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Often curious and much braver than he should be, I began calling him Braveheart on this day, because he had deliberately placed himself between me and his sister to protect her.  He might have weighed a hundred pounds at the time. 

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Here’s another shot from very early spring last year.  The bucks will be displaced, first by their mothers in late spring and then by their fathers in late summer.  I hadn’t seen this buck since the photo of him in velvet above and didn’t think I ever would, because after his father displaces him he would more than likely have to leave the park.  During my hike through the park last Monday I began seeing tracks for a buck.  A small buck – probably one less than two years old, I thought.

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His mom is a big doe.  A whitetail doe can weigh as much as two hundred pounds.  She’s the second deer from the right and to my surprise he’s the second deer from the left.  He’s almost as big as his mom now.  Whitetails band together during winter for protection and to compete for dwindling food sources.  Except for hunting season, this is the hardest time of the year for them to survive.

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