White Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
Creekside Reserve, Beavercreek, Ohio
"Going to the woods is going home." - John Muir
Life can throw many surprises your way. In the early days for me, I was cycling along the bike path with a small camera bag. This moment was pure happenstance, I was there to ride my bike and not to take photos. I just happened to have the bag with me "just in case." As you can tell, I am glad I did. For the ride, I was along a mile corridor bordering the Creekside Reserve. I stop to my amazement that there is at least eight to ten of them grouped together by the treeline. Easily the most I've seen in a single space. I couldn't say I was surprised as this was taken at dusk when they come out to eat.
Almost like a horror movie, one by one more deer came out from the wooded canopy. By my counts there were about fifteen total deer all feeding and looking at what I was doing. Standing and shaking from excitement. These two in particular seemed awfully curious to slowly walk up towards me. Armed with a 75-300mm zoom, I zoomed in at 120mm, using an f-stop of 6.3 to distance these two away from the background more as a portrait. Then with a shutter speed of 1/200 second handheld, and ISO 800 to keep up with the darkening skies. As you can see, 120mm isn't that far. They got scary close to me as I stood frozen except for my quick fingers adjusting buttons and dials. Another third deer seemed rather perturbed and kept pouncing and hissing off to the side. After over half an hour encounter, the herd passively retreated back into the woods. This is perhaps my favorite moment I've shared with these beautiful mammals.
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