This weekend, I was presented with a rare opportunity to photograph the whitetail rut up-close-and-personal. To observe a magnificent buck firsthand,as he pursued a doe coming into estrus, was a scene I will never forget!
The courting ritual begins as the buck feeds casually near the doe, all the while keeping her close at hand…
This guy is an attentive boyfriend indeed.
The buck took a moment to tear-up a nearby maple tree(easily 12″ diameter), in perhaps the largest rubbed tree I have ever seen!
The buck then begins to make a scrape just as the battery dies in my camera – doohh!
Luckily I had another cam available, although the delay did cause me to miss the majority of his scrape activity.
As the doe made her way across the field toward me, the old buck was in hot pursuit.
I managed to slip my way around and photograph the two deer from another angle, while the buck continued his pursuit of the doe.
In this most incredible image, the buck can be seen scent-checking the doe for receptiveness.
Estrus cannot be far off!
This is the last photo I have in the series before the two moved off together and out of range.
To be able to witness the white-tailed deer courting ritual firsthand is something I will not soon forget and is, without a doubt, the greatest series of images I’ve captured to date.