A beautiful February morning and five whitetail bucks arrive on the prairie. They move as a bachelor group that adds and drops members as they travel 1200 acres of oak woods, creeks and rolling hills of rural Milwaukee county.
They stop to browse in a field for their winter diet of woody mix - stems and leaves. The combination of the loss of testosterone and this winter starvation diet has reduced their once massive size. But it hasn't eliminated all of their aggression in the wake of the rut.
Their approach to the local does sends the does running for nearby treelines and the safety of the woods. They turn to each other and continually test each other. Some are fighters and some are lovers. The hierarchy of the group is dynamic so they continue to fight.
This is probably a 3 1/2 year old buck on the right and the current leader of this group. The buck on the left is a year younger I'm guessing. They tangle for a short time before the younger buck disengages and runs off a few yards. The group continues to browse while keeping an eye on me and eventually they move on in their endless pursuit of food and rest.
- Uploaded 3:41 AM on February 21, 2017
- Posted in Wildlife
- NIKON D500
- 1/400 sec.
- 420 mm
- 280 ISO
- Franklin, WI
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