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Adventures of a wildlife photographer

February 7, 2012

Photo by Rocky Holland – This monster buck appeared out of nowhere, to the delight of this wildlife photographer.

I’m often asked, being wildlife photographer, do I hunt? The answer is yes. In fact, I’ve hunted since I was sixteen. I can’t say that I’m a great hunter, but through the years I’ve been fairly accomplished. In the last ten years or so, I’ve been highly successful hunting with a camera, and not so with a gun. I think the reason for this is because I get so focused (pardon the pun) on getting that perfect picture, that I pay significantly more attention to everything that is going around me whenever I have a camera in hand. Most of my camera hunting usually comes before the start of buck season. The deer aren’t being chased every day, and there is no pressure on me to actually “shoot” any deer, but when the opportunity arises, mine is a silent shot!
I did not get a deer this year, but neither did the other five guys at our camp. Last year we had ten guys at camp, with no deer taken. I really believe our camp numbers are going to decrease every year, because if you hunt for three solid days and don’t see a deer, why come back? As a nature photographer, I come back to camp each night thinking about the deer I “shot” this fall with a camera. A smile comes over my face as I look around the room at the disgruntled hunters, knowing I will have a trophy on the wall when this is all over. The only bad thing about this is that I can’t eat my pictures, and I like venison!
My deer season starts in late August, when I start getting reports of monster bucks on motion cameras. This is always a good sign for everyone involved in the outdoors, that there are some very nice bucks out there. My goal is to photograph one of these big bucks before the woods becomes alive with hunters, and the deer become way too cautious. This, I have found out through the years, is not an easy task. Just ask an archery hunter who has had a nice deer near his stand until the season starts, and then nothing! Another down side to my deer photography is time. It always seems that by the time I get some free time the weather is usually against me. Take for example the fall and winter of 2010, way too much bad weather, and deep snow, which prevented me from getting into some of my favorite spots.

See full article by purchasing the Feb. 7 edition of The Kane Republican -
Wildlife sightings, or questions, email me at

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