Monday, June 6, 2011

Fawns and Coyotes

Canon MK 1D; Canon 600 f4 @f7.1 1/125 ISO500

We have fawns in our back yard, yet those farther away are better to photograph-right?  In my case, being a workaholic, I find it difficult to photograph the fawns in my backyard (literally) because I feel guilty being that close to our business and not being in there working.  So on Friday, Joan and I traveled to Shenandoah National Park and visited the Big Meadow area along the Skyline Drive.  The deer there are "wild" in that they are free roaming-but they are more acclimated to humans than the deer around our area. The weekend was bittersweet.  I have found that many of the photographers visiting that area have a different cultural base and set of values than I do when it comes to observing and photographing wildlife. I was appalled at some of the behaviors I witnessed there by "photographers".   We saw a number of individuals that had no clue on how to act around deer.  They treated them as though they were zoo animals and directly approached them.  We even witnessed individuals chasing does and fawns trying to get good pictures.  But alas, I digress on the soap box. 

We observed about a dozen different fawns in the Big Meadow area and we were able to get some very good images of the does and fawns on Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday evening and again Sunday Morning.
Canon MK 1D; Canon 600 f4 with 1.4 TC @f9 1/500 ISO500
Canon MK 1D; Canon 600 f4 @f5 1/160 ISO500 EC+.67
Canon MK 1D; Canon 600 f4 @f5 1/500 ISO800
Canon MK 1D; Canon 600 f4 @f5 1/200 ISO500
Canon 7D; Canon 70-200 f4 @70mm F9 1/250 ISO400
Sunday morning was windy and cool and the deer were very skittish.  The does were keeping close track of the fawns.  After a couple of photographers chased a couple of does and fawns around, the does deposited the fawns in the bushes and left the Meadow.  Then suddenly all the does hid their fawns and began running from the Meadow.  Soon Joan spotted what the problem was-a very healthy looking Coyote was crossing the Meadow and coming directly at us. It was hunting and it came to within 20 feet of us and stopped, sniffed around and went past a fawn about 30 yards in front of us and proceeded to a hiding spot for another fawn and killed it and ate it.  When it had finished that one, it found another one and killed it. It left that one lay.

Until Next Time

Jim Borden


John S. Mead said...

WOW! superb post... the photography is superb, but your telling of the natural history and the interaction between humans, deer, and coyote makes the images all the better! Thanks for sharing!

Larry Ostby said...

Incredible photography. Your patience paid off. The coyote opportunities do not happen often. Thank you for sharing.

Passinthru Outdoors said...

Wow! Just incredible. The circle of life in full color. Amazing.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Willard said...

An exceptional post, Jim. I have noticed less deer in SNP for the past several years and I think the bears and coyotes do have a significant impact on fawn survival. It is seldom that one gets to see something like this, let alone capture exceptional photographs of the event.

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

incredibly powerful photos!
great post as well.

i'm in awe of those animals. so thanks for sharing.


Coy said...

What an amazing series Jim! Capturing does and fawns is one thing but being able to photograph the coyote hunting fawns; fabulous!

It does pull at ones heart strings seeing the cute innocent little fawns being taken by a predator but this is truly the natural cycle of life.

Dave said...

As has been said the cycle of life in glorious colour. You have captured the innocence of the fawn and the focus of the coyote brilliantly great photo sequence. Daves photo views