Thursday, October 22, 2009

The deer hunt

For a long time we thought we wouldn't have any luck getting photos of any animals. All of them seemed to be staying just out of sight. And the few birds and such that came in to sight were gone before Dad could do more than tell me what they were. But - eventually - we found something living, which was sort of willing to be photographed...




Not quite what we had in mind, but it was definately alive. And - for those who don't know - beetles get VERY active when the heat of your hand warms them up. They don't - thankfully - tend to crawl up the sleeves of jackets. Something I'm rather relieved about, since that's my hand in the photo.


But we weren't giving up hope. We'd seen hoof prints (sorry, no photos... I never thought about it until after) so they couldn't be too far away, since the hoof prints did seem fresh. Besides, it was a "deer" park... The clue is in the name... There has to be deer in a deer park, right?

Wait! Did you hear something?

It sounded suspiciously like bucks practicing their rutting skills. Could it be? Will we see some deer?


"I think I see one in the distance," says Dad. "It's too far away for a photo - even with the zoom - but I'm sure it's a stag! Perhaps we should sit just off the path here... Maybe, if we're quiet enough, a deer will come? Let's try it and see!"


So, we sat down on a convenient bench - they had a couple along the trail - and waited.

And waited...

And waited...

Until... Finally...



Bingo! We have a deer!

We watched her. She watched us. And then...

Another came...



And another...


They were very vocal for a while. It sounded as though the male was telling the female off for coming so close, then the other female was defending her, or telling him to leave her alone or something. So, not only did we get to be close to the deer (they were five feet away - give or take - from where we were sat) but we also got to hear them "speak" (since I don't know what you call a deer noise). Plus, we realised after a bit that we were right ... We had been hearing rutting practice. The males began bellowing, and we realised that the banging noise we'd been hearing was, in fact, antlers coming in contact with each other, which is what we thought it might have been.



Oh? You're leaving? OK... Bye deer!

Just before going back to the car, we got even luckier still. We spotted these...



A whole herd of deer!



I'd say that turned out to be a pretty successful deer hunt, wouldn't you? :)

Tori

6 comments:

AliceKay said...

I'd say it turned out to be a VERY successful deer hunt. The last pic shows what appears to be a huge buck off in the distance (top left hand corner of the pic). What kind of deer do you have over there? They don't look like the whitetails we have around here.

Deanna said...

Wow Tori how great! Those pictures are awesome. I'm with AK, they look different than our deer. And you are braver than me. No way would I have held that beetle!

Lynn said...

I would say very successful indeed, and a fun one to boot, I would love to have been there to see that. I liked your lil pic of your beetle, It brought to mind a blog that I follow of someone that travels out west she actually took a pic of a taranchula that she saw...ewwww!

Intense Guy said...

You have gone one up on me and my deer hunts! Big smiles... And Alice Kay is right, there is a huge buck amongst the herd on the hill. I think there might even be a couple of them. I've never actually heard a deer - other that a doe "stamping" on the ground trying to warn/scare me off -

LadyStyx said...

Great shots!

Tori_z said...

I think they're just called "Fallow deer" or something like that.

Glad you all enjoyed the picks.


Iggy:
Probably. There were definately stags around... The rutting was definately going on!

We obviously picked a good time to go, since we got to hear the sounds they make, hear them rutting, and see plenty of them.