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  #1  
Old 12-18-2011, 07:21 PM
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Default A Mule Deer Morning

I went on another hike this morning in the mountains, no real trail, just back country hiking. Pretty early in the hike I saw a small herd of mule deer. I already had my camera out and my tele lens on, so I started to slowly climb the side of the mountain towards the deer. I worked my way around a small knoll so that I could come up on them from a different direction than they expected (I made a little noise climbing through the snow, so didn't want to go straight at them, around the edge of the rocks, the deer were right there, maybe 30 feet in front of me.


18 Dec 2011 1 by coloradocj, on Flickr

Well, that did it, they all became alert and were ready to run, so I squatted down to wait a while for them to settle.


18 Dec 2011 2 by coloradocj, on Flickr

One smaller doe was pretty brave early on (or just curious) and started to make her way towards me, a step at a time.


18 Dec 2011 3 by coloradocj, on Flickr

I stood up and started to come around the rock, there was a huge buck right there and he wasn't all too happy. His head was lowered, staring at me through his antlers. I stood still for a long time while we both stared at each other.


18 Dec 2011 4 by coloradocj, on Flickr

After about 10 minutes, I guess the buck figured I wasn't a threat, and started to move away.


18 Dec 2011 5 by coloradocj, on Flickr

I followed along being careful to stay quiet and not spook the herd further. After a long time, the mule deer became somewhat used to me and started laying down.


18 Dec 2011 6 by coloradocj, on Flickr

So, I slowly made my way a little closer to them and sat down under a large pine. I was about 60 feet from the large buck and 40 feet from one of the does.


18 Dec 2011 7 by coloradocj, on Flickr


18 Dec 2011 9 by coloradocj, on Flickr

About 20 minutes later a squirrel came down the pine chirping at me, mad that I'm sitting under his home.


18 Dec 2011 8 by coloradocj, on Flickr

This is one massive buck.


18 Dec 2011 10 by coloradocj, on Flickr

I've been with the deer for about 2 hours now, so they are getting pretty used to me, allowing me to move around and photo them without them becoming upset. I'm having a great time and am able to get very close to many of the deer.


18 Dec 2011 11 by coloradocj, on Flickr


18 Dec 2011 12 by coloradocj, on Flickr


18 Dec 2011 13 by coloradocj, on Flickr

This guy must have lost at a pretty good fight. Sad to see him this way, but he'll grow another pair of antlers next fall. He didn't seem as proud as the other large buck, kind of sad looking.


18 Dec 2011 14 by coloradocj, on Flickr


18 Dec 2011 15 by coloradocj, on Flickr

All in all, I spent over 2 hours with these mule deer. It was a lot of fun and I'll always remember my time with them. This was one of my better days of hiking and photography.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:39 PM
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Really wonderful shots!!! Thank you for posting them!

Seeing the mule deer, reminds me of a week long backpacking trip I did in Kings Canyon, California back in the summer of 1976, (Yikes, that is a long time ago!). I came upon a few mule deer and was very surprised at just how accommodating they were to my presence among them.

Again, very beautiful photographs!

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Old 12-18-2011, 08:43 PM
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Nice pictures.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:53 PM
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Thanks guys. Yeah, at first I didn't know how accommodating that buck was going to be. He stared at me a good 10 minutes with his head lowered, looking ready to charge.

I was about to back away, but I'm glad I didn't, or I wouldn't have these great photos and memory.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:53 AM
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Those are some great pictures! I love those winter coats, just beautiful.

We have whitetail only, in Ohio.

I had a cool experience in my tree stand one morning. I was my usual 25 feet up in a poplar tree. I had watched several bucks moving up a trail not far from my tree. I could hear one grunting. A noisy fight broke out among the bucks. It was real close but I could not see a thing as the sun was directly in my eyes. After a while a buck came out of the brush and walked directly below my stand. One entire antler was broken off like the deer in the picture. His tail was actually between his legs -or as close as it could get. He had the saddest look on his face. It's tough being a deer.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:08 AM
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Default fantastic pics

Being so close to take these pictures must be a great memory.
Please keep posting for the rest of us to enjoy.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:55 AM
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Don't the deer loose their horns every year? I like the Stieb buttons in the bucks ear.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:28 AM
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Great photos, must have been a great day.

In the eastern part of this state there is an ongoing discussion about wolves. People think that the wolves will damage the deer and elk herds. Hmmm. Hunters kill the biggest, strongest, healthiest animals like the buck you photographed. Wolves kill and eat the weak and sick animals (plus mice and many other small animals) and don't waste their strength running down the strong healthy good breeders. There are already compensation plans for livestock killed by wolves.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:21 PM
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Thanks for posting more great pics! You are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful area.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:23 PM
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Great Pictures! I'm curious as to the camera and lens used.

I apologize if I missed it in the thread if you already posted that info.
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