I am not a hunter — couldn’t be actually. But I do enjoy stalking animals to get their photos. In this case, I was actually stalking a Pileated Woodpecker that I saw visit one of the bird feeders for just a few seconds. The dang bird flew off before I could even locate my camera, much less snap a quick photo. So, I went of in search of…and in the process I startled the deer herd in the way back backyard. I haven’t seen much of them lately so I gave up on the woodpecker and decided to try to creep up on the deer instead.
As I was making my way stealthily (i.e., as quietly as possible) through the woods, I suddenly spotted this buck looking at me. He didn’t run away, so we had a stare-down for several minutes while he decided whether I was dangerous or not.
I kept angling for a better shot, creeping from tree to tree, but there wasn’t one — too many branches between him and me.
And then, suddenly he grew bolder, and decided to challenge me. He walked at least 30 feet right toward me and started stamping his feet. At this point I actually had to unzoom the telephoto because all I could see was his head. And what a magnificent head it was. Wow, look at the size of that neck!
Both males and females engage in foot-stomping, as a prelude to aggression. I would have been worried he would charge (like bull moose do), but there were too many trees in the way for him to get me.
Finally, he got bored with my camera clicking and wandered off to meet up with a couple of does. Although I was hoping there might be some “action” there, nothing transpired. The most interesting thing the buck did was chase a little half-grown youngster. He was pretty good at posing for the camera, though.
This is my 10-point buck trophy head.