Canadian Wildlife on Camera: Photographing Deer in Rutting Season

Nature rarely gets more dramatic than during rutting season. It brings out the animal in male deer, and presents an opportunity that Canadian photographer John McCracken simply can't refuse.

Photographing deer in rutting seasonPhoto: John McCracken

The Art of Photographing Deer in Rutting Season

I often photograph wildlife. It has been a hobby—and passion—of mine for nearly 20 years. A nearby cemetery I sometimes go to boasts an incredible amount of wildlife. I’ve photographed owls, hawks, eagles, groundhogs, wild turkeys and more.

I especially love photographing deer. Although I like capturing them all year round, I do like to get to places during rutting season, when the male deer exhibit their dominance towards one another as they choose a mate. On this fall day, as these two bucks sparred with each other, it was so intense I was surprised they both survived!

They stood eye to eye, stomping and pushing back with great force. I was lucky enough to witness this show of dominance in the buck world.

Once a mate has been selected by the dominant buck, the others know to stay away—and a new family member is sure to arrive by spring or early summer.

The circle of life is complete for another season and the deer world can relax and concentrate on surviving another long, cold winter.

Whether hiking in the woods, along the water or elsewhere, I love photographing all wildlife—my camera is ready for anything.

Next, find out why the common loon is anything but common.

Originally Published in Our Canada