I’ll get to the “dashing” part next, but first an explanation of what (or who) is doing the dashing. The “Rut” is in full swing, and that means White-tailed bucks are tracking and chasing does through the woods, occasionally at high speed. A pair flashed by my porch window as I was sipping morning coffee, and paused just briefly in the neighbor’s yard while a doe snatched a few bites of greenery.
Later in the morning, I spotted a small buck chasing a doe across a road in one of the local parks, so I followed them down a deer trail through the woods, thinking I might get an action shot. Five minutes later I heard loud crashing on the trail behind me, as a buck twice the size of the one I saw earlier headed down the trail right for me. Big telephoto lens in hand, I jumped behind the nearest tree as the buck went crashing by me — and never got even one shot off.
During the rut, White-tailed bucks abandon their previous survival instinct to avoid humans in their single-minded pursuit of females in heat. A summer’s worth of good foraging allows them to put on lots of muscle and grow a big rack of bony antler material which they will need to fend off competitors for access to the females.
So drive carefully on back roads at this time of year — sex-crazed deer are on the prowl, dashing through woods and field.