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Thread: Mr & Mrs - the big buck returns

  1. #1
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Mr & Mrs - the big buck returns

    Out this morning hoping to complete the dog walk before the forecasted rain arrived. Gloomy as heck, but took the camera anyway.

    In one of the fields I saw a buck chasing a doe:



    Sadly they disappeared into a small copse, not to return.

    Further down the track in her normal field I spied the "lady friend" I am meeting on pretty much a daily basis now:



    This is a large square field, and try to picture it that I was on the bottom right hand corner of the square and the doe was at the bottom left hand corner. Taking a couple of steps forward along the dirt track I suddenly realised that there was a buck along the hedge to my right. It was the big six-pointer, which I've not seen for several weeks now:



    Retreating slowly, I decided to watch and see what happened. He started to make his way right to left across the field towards where the doe was standing, at the same time moving behind some longer grass. Deciding that I had nothing to lose, I made my way along the track, in the firm belief that the doe would react as she normally does and ignore me. Sure enough, I walked straight past her - possibly 30 metres away - with her watching me all the while, even when I stopped to grab a quick photo:



    Having completed traversing the bottom of the square field, I now started to walk up the track on the left hand side, so the buck was effectively now walking towards me. He was having a grand time grazing and thrashing the undergrowth, but eventually he approached the track where I was now sitting with the four dogs. By this point his headgear was adorned with some additional greenery:



    Shaking this off he moved closer and closer to where I was waiting with the camera:







    Eventually he was about 10 meters away, and the "click" of the shutter got his attention:





    You can see in the photo above that, by now, the forecast rain had arrived, but fortunately I was under a tree so missing the worst of it.

    Keeping still, the buck watched me intently for a couple of minutes and then carried on towards the doe:



    He sniffed her - and the air - a few times, but either she's no longer hormonal or he's simply not interested, so they moved apart. He was now approaching the bottom right hand corner of the field where I had first appeared - in the photo above it is the end of the hedge next to the post and rail fence.

    With a decision to make I opted to retrace my steps. It would mean walking back past the doe but I was confident now that she wouldn't be spooked by either me or the dogs. I got back to the bottom left hand corner of the square field and then noticed a muntjac buck had appeared a little way down the woodland. This untouched photo gives you some idea of just how gloomy the morning was, but you can still see he has some impressive looking antlers:



    Turning back to focus on the roe buck, he was now approaching the track about 80m away from me:



    He stepped out on onto the track and caught sight of me and the dogs:





    Not overly concerned, he crossed the track and spent a few more seconds watching me before heading into the wood:



    Guessing that he might come out into the far field, I walked along the track back to the spot where I'd first come in, pausing for a few seconds to take another shot of the doe, as although still gloomy the light had improved enough to make another photo possibly worthwhile:



    That small mark on her left shoulder shows that it is the same doe as I encountered yesterday.

    Leaving her to finish her breakfast, I got to the corner of the field and - sure enough - there was the buck, making his way back towards where I'd seen the original buck chasing the original doe:



    Hopefully now he's back, and the rut is underway, I might get a chance to grab a few more photos in the coming days. If I do, you'll see them here first
    Last edited by willie_gunn; 24-07-2015 at 09:08.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  2. #2
    Stunning photography and equally stunning buck.
    Cheers
    Richard

  3. #3

  4. #4
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    Absolutely beautiful
    That's the photos I love to see.
    Much better than dead carcasses.
    Thanks for putting them on Willie_Gunn

  5. #5
    Some stunning photos there! Well done!
    I often find myself in a similar position to you on one of my permissions (Seeing the same deer (In the plural) and getting quite close to them without them getting spooked). With this in mind I am sometimes left wondering if the deer (After seeing you quite frequently) understand that you are not a threat to them.
    I do not want to hijack this thread but I would like to hear your thoughts on this.



  6. #6
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchieBoy View Post
    Some stunning photos there! Well done!
    I often find myself in a similar position to you on one of my permissions (Seeing the same deer (In the plural) and getting quite close to them without them getting spooked). With this in mind I am sometimes left wondering if the deer (After seeing you quite frequently) understand that you are not a threat to them.
    I do not want to hijack this thread but I would like to hear your thoughts on this.
    I think that's a really interesting question.

    My personal belief is that, being a prey species, deer are highly sensitive to a whole variety of factors that are in some cases beyond our comprehension.

    To take just one example, scent, the deers olfactory capabilities put humans - and dogs - in the shade. Whereas humans have 5 million olfactory receptors, some deer have just under 300 million, so just try to imagine the subtleties of scent that a deer can detect! Then think about it from a human perspective, where our bodies are likely to emit different combinations of scent based on our metabolisms, so when we are in "hunt" mode I can quite imagine that we give off different scent signals. I am sure that deer pick this up, recognising the difference between passive interest as opposed to potential threat.

    So far as recognising individual humans, I do wonder if deer get de-sensitised through prolonged repeated contact. Certainly in areas that I stalk that are crossed by well-used footpaths, deer seem pretty ambivalent about most humans, regardless of whether they catch their scent. In the case here, I still find it surprising that the doe will let me - and four dogs - approach within 15-20 metres without triggering the "flight" response. She may, of course, do this for every human she meets!

    It's all conjecture, of course, but fascinating nonetheless!
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  7. #7
    Great photos yet again , it's when you read posts like this , then relate to Mungos post about pro stalker next door , who would in most probability flatten him in a crack, just for monatary gains , you no the deer on your ground and cull/shoot acordinly , as do I on my personal grounds , that is what it should be about , keep up the photos !��

  8. #8
    Excellent photographs and descriptive text Dom, at one point I am pretty sure I could feel the rain

    John
    A clever man knows his strengths, a wise man knows his weaknesses

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post
    I think that's a really interesting question.

    My personal belief is that, being a prey species, deer are highly sensitive to a whole variety of factors that are in some cases beyond our comprehension.

    To take just one example, scent, the deers olfactory capabilities put humans - and dogs - in the shade. Whereas humans have 5 million olfactory receptors, some deer have just under 300 million, so just try to imagine the subtleties of scent that a deer can detect! Then think about it from a human perspective, where our bodies are likely to emit different combinations of scent based on our metabolisms, so when we are in "hunt" mode I can quite imagine that we give off different scent signals. I am sure that deer pick this up, recognising the difference between passive interest as opposed to potential threat.

    So far as recognising individual humans, I do wonder if deer get de-sensitised through prolonged repeated contact. Certainly in areas that I stalk that are crossed by well-used footpaths, deer seem pretty ambivalent about most humans, regardless of whether they catch their scent. In the case here, I still find it surprising that the doe will let me - and four dogs - approach within 15-20 metres without triggering the "flight" response. She may, of course, do this for every human she meets!

    It's all conjecture, of course, but fascinating nonetheless!
    Interesting! Your thought on the matter are certainly "thought provoking", thanks for sharing them!

    p.s. Great write up with the photos too!



  10. #10

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