With the four inches of snow that fell yesterday still blanketing the ground, I took the opportunity to head to a favourite hiking spot to do a bit of photography and animal tracking. The day before the storm I was able to see four doe, three grouse, and hundreds of geese in just under two hours. Hopes were high that I would see more today.
This spot is less than 10 minutes from my home in Ottawa, and borders one of the busiest highways, but the amount of wildlife to be seen is certainly amazing. Urban wildlife at its best.
The snow revealed track after track – rabbit, deer, coyote, turkey, and porcupine. Makes you wonder how much activity happens during one twenty-four hour period!
I was hoping to get some shots of deer on this outing. Knowing the freshly cut corn field would be garnering a lot of attention, I decided to hunker down in a small section of stalks that still remained standing. This would allow me a great vantage point to the field, and the two tree lines along the edge. A perfect natural blind for photography.
And the reason why the deer and other animals were flocking to this field:
Here is what I saw from my blind:
I had the company of this little fella ten feet away, eagerly gorging on the corn husks. A fat porcupine was also perched in the tree to my left, soundly sleeping.
At about 3:15pm I happened to notice a doe some 60 yards away and just inside the treeline. Unfortunately, I had been moving around prior to spotting her, and she was on to me at this point. We stared each other down, myself hardly blinking, until she moved off five minutes later without coming into the open.
Twenty minutes later, and with the light starting to fade, I spot a six-point buck come out from the brush and walk directly in front of me, less than 40 yards away. I waited for him to turn before bringing the camera up to my eye. Two clicks of the shutter and he was on to me, although he posed for a few shots before bounding quickly away.
Definitely a cool sight to see, and I can just imagine the adrenaline rush a bowhunter feels when a trophy buck comes into range.
Here are a couple of shots showing the amount of tracks in this area. The first shows deer, rabbit, and turkey. The second turkey only.
With light fading fast, I packed up and began my walk along the fields. This area has four distinct corn fields, each seperated by a very thin tree line. As I walked toward the next field over, some 100 yards away was a beauty eight-point buck with two does. The distance and lack of light made taking a shot futile. I did watch them for a while before they spotted me and made a hasty retreat into the woods. The last field also had two does feeding in it, which, added to the three I saw as I drove up for the hike, brings the total to nine for the outing. Not a bad day. I was also lucky enough to see a hawk of some sort hunting the field while I was set up in my blind. Tough to tell what kind it was, but was definitely cool to see.
I’ll be putting in some time over the next couple of weeks in hopes of catching some big bucks on film. Saying that, a seat cushion for my blind is definitely on the “to bring” list!!
Until next time….
Yours in the Outdoors,
(click on images to view full size)
Read Full Post »