A visit from the big dude

As I was wrapping up yesterday’s post, I caught a flash of rapid movement out of the corner of my eye.  A huge buck came crashing through the backyard right below my porch window, paused at the top of the hill that leads into the neighbor’s yard and then trotted through it and up into the woods.  Not great for photographing this superb specimen of male-ness.  But here he is, in all this studly glory.

white-tailed buck

I had very little time to get off a few quick shots, but this one really shows off his muscular frame, girth, and large, branching antlers.

white-tailed buck

He paused for just a few seconds to decide which route to take through the neighbors’ backyard up into the forested hillside.

antlers on an 8-point? white-tail buck

It’s hard to count points from the rear, but I think this guy must have been at least an 8-pointer.

white-tailed buck

I wonder if they ever get their antlers stuck in the vegetation. They seem like such an encumbrance moving through secondary growth of forest.

I think this is about the time that bucks drop their antlers, and I would love to find this rack somewhere in the wetland behind the backyard.

13 thoughts on “A visit from the big dude

    • Usually I see quite a few deer throughout the year in my backyard. We live on the edge of a small wetland which has plenty of places for deer to hang out, hide, and forage. Part of the reason I started this blog was because there was so much wildlife in the backyard — surprising since we live in a suburb of St. Paul.

  1. Sue, My pastor is your neighbor, and forwarded this on to me. Indeed a splendid specimen, with top-shelf photography showing off his moxie. (Same with the coyote from last winter.) Shed hunters (those who look for shed antlers) recommend looking 1) where the deer spend a lot of time, indicated by beds and droppings, 2) where the deer jumps a fence or a ditch, since that jarring may dislodge the antler, and 3) along fencelines or edges of cover, where a deer may frequently travel the same route. With this winter’s low snow pack, you can look now. Many bucks drop their antlers in January, though some keep theirs into March. However, once they fall, rodents like mice chew on them for the minerals and to wear their teeth down. Shed antlers can be hard to spot. Some train their dog to smell and retrieve them!

  2. Big Dude is right! What a beautiful creature he is. Big, strong and healthy looking. I have a lot of doe’s come through my property all year. I’ve only “seen” bucks on my WildGame Camera. It’s fun to see those night shots or I would have never known they were around. I found one side of antlers a long time ago, but never a pair. Like the lady said above, the rodents really enjoy them and chew them down to nothing in no time! Good luck with your search! I found you through Mike Powell and have really been enjoying your blog.

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