With a good forecast I was out at dawn this morning on the hunt for roe deer amongst other things. Those of you sweltering in the south of the UK may find some comfort that the temperature reading in my car at 5am was just 2.5ºC as I ambled along one of the back roads close to home. In an area that is well blessed with large numbers of roe deer its not difficult to find them and the car serves quite well as a way of ‘stalking’ them. Early in the morning they are still feeding out in the open and will tolerate a car that is passing without alarm. The problem arises when that car stops and points, what could be construed by the deer as a very large ‘gun’ out of the window. This most often causes the deer to make a hasty retreat but sometimes there is a delay of a few seconds, just enough time to fire off a few shots.
The morning started well with a female in the marsh very close to home. It was on the move before I stopped the car but with the camera/lens set up ready I managed to grab a few shots and it did have the decency to stop and take a look at me before taking full flight.
The conditions were beautiful at the time, with the sun just clearing the wood and casting some lovely golden light across the marsh with a hint of mist lifting off the ditch beyond. Such moments are always very fleeting and its usually a matter of luck if you have something to work with at the time.
Second stop were a ‘pair’ quite close to the road. Bucks always seem more wary but as they are now coming into the mating season they hang around the does waiting for them to come into season and this is the best time to try to capture them. They are also looking really smart with reddish-brown coats. I had to shoot through a wire fence for this one but there was a gap between the wires at just the right position to avoid any softness to the image. The luck was with me.
There were several other does along the way, most off in the distance, until I chanced upon two of last year’s fawns lying in the long grass very close to the road. The female was further back feeding and I was able to get a few shots of one of the youngsters before they both moved away to join their mother.