The 2014 white-tail rut didn’t seem to have as many bucks with impressive racks as in the last couple of years, possibly because of the drought this area has experienced the last few years. These photos were captured between November 15th and December 2nd, 2014, in Boiling Springs State Park, Oklahoma.
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During the rut, bucks will often stick out their tongue to aid their sense of smell.
The frost hadn’t yet melted in the shady foreground area, resulting in a different color from the sunny background.
Note the mangled ear and broken antler tine on this one, no doubt resulting from a fight with a competing buck. During the rut, bucks sleep very little and expend so much energy pursuing does and fighting other bucks that they lose a considerable amount of weight.
Note the blood on his antler. It more than likely was deposited there from a buck which lost a battle for dominance with this guy.
A selection of photos made from late September through mid October, 2014 in Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge.
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White-tailed Doe Before Sunrise, September 24th
Bugling Bull Elk, Shortly After Sunrise, September 24th
Elk Cow At Sunrise, September 25th
Bull Elk, Early Morning, October 3rd
Lone Bison Bull, Late Afternoon, October 3rd
Near Sunset, October 3rd
Granite Boulders Just After Sunrise, October 4th
White-tailed Bucks, All Early Morning, October 4th
Bison Bull, Morning, October 4th
Maximillian Sunflowers, Mid-morning, October 4th
French Lake Before Sunrise, October16th
Bull Elk, Early Morning, October 16th
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White-tailed fawns and moms and eastern cottontail rabbits photographed in Boiling Springs State Park.
These deer photos were made from July 2nd, through July 23rd, 2014.
Does often hide their fawns in tall grass while they are foraging. if you find a fawn like this please leave it alone, its mother is almost always nearby and it is not abandoned and in need of rescue as some people assume. This one is old enough to easily outrun a person, however.
When white-tailed deer run, they often hold their tails high. They will also move their tails while holding them high to warn other deer of danger. This is probably the origin of the term “high-tailing it”.
This fawn and yearling buck are grazing in dew covered grass.
Fawns can often be seen chasing each other or running just for the fun of it. Of course they are preparing for the day when they may need to outrun a predator.
This fawn is cleaning its tail.
Deer are most commonly seen in early morning and near and after sunset. All of these photos were made in early morning.
This fawn was chasing its mother trying to nurse, but she kept running away.
White-tailed deer both graze and browse (eat leaves and fruit growing on trees and shrubs).
The eastern cottontail is the most commonly seen rabbit in Oklahoma. The swamp rabbit can be seen in eastern Oklahoma and the desert cottontail can be seen in the panhandle.
More cottontails have been seen here than in the past several years, probably because the extreme drought is lessening.
This cottontail is nibbling grass among gaillardia or indian blanket, which is Oklahoma’s state wildflower. These cottontail photos were made June 30th and July 21st, 2014.
All images on this site are copyrighted © by Larry D. Brown and may not be used in any manner without permission.
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White-tailed buck photos made 12-25-12.
There is no need to feel sorry for white-tailed deer in cold, snowy weather. The hollow hairs in their winter coats insulate so well that not enough heat escapes their bodies to melt snow falling on them.
White-tailed doe photos made 2-12-2013.
Yucca plants photographed 2-20-2013.
Buttonbush leaf and seed-pod and the preceding six photos made on 2-21-2013.
This and the following photos made on 2-22-2013.
White-tailed bucks photographed in Boiling Springs State Park, Oklahoma from November 10 through December 6, 2011.
November 10th, the rut or breeding season is just beginning. Notice this buck doesn’t yet have the swollen neck which bucks have during the rut.
Early morning light adds a beautiful warmth to the color in this image. The frost on the grass in the shaded foreground has not yet melted.
This one has a nice symmetrical 10-point rack.
The center of interest
During the rut, bucks are active night and day and get very little rest.
Ouch! This one has gotten too close to a porcupine. Note the five quills stuck to the left side of his face. Believe it or not, porcupines are not unusual in northwestern Oklahoma.
A light snow has blanketed the park on the morning of December 6, 2011 and the rut is almost over for another year.
As deer antlers grow, they are covered by a fuzzy skin called velvet.
Growing almost half an inch a day, they are some of the fastest growing tissue in the animal kingdom.
Antlers continue to grow through August or September and the velvet is then shed before the rut begins.
Boiling Springs State Park is home to a new generation of white-tailed deer each summer. The summer of 2011 has been extremely hot and dry and has affected the condition of some of the deer. The does especially seem a little more skinny than usual, having an extra or (usually) two extra mouths to feed. They also spend less time in the open and disappear into the shade of the woods sooner as the heat rises earlier than in cooler years.
The fawns’ big ears help to keep them cool by radiating heat from the blood flowing through their ears.
This doe is giving her fawn a licking.
This fawn has it’s ears on the alert.
A doe feeding with her fawns.
Fawns exploring in the early morning light.
All images on this site are © copyrighted by Larry D. Brown and may not be reproduced in any manner without permission.
Dark-eyed junco searching for seeds
White-tailed doe after digging in snow
Northern Flicker (Yellow Shafted)