Deer Photography - December

Key behaviours / activities to look out for this month are:

  • Most non-fawn bucks shed their antlers.

  • New antlers start to grow.

  • Deer spend a relatively large amount of time resting.


A roe deer's antlers are nowhere near the size of the head adornments of a large deer species, such as red deer, and as result, they can be difficult to spot laying on the ground. Quite often all you see is something that could easily be mistaken for a twig, poking out the vegetation. Although I didn't locate this particular antler from ground level, it has been photographed exactly as discovered to give you an idea.   

On this occasion I was watching the buck when he actually cast this antler: he was standing by a line of bushes, just feeding on some bramble, when he stopped and vigorously shook his head, throwing the spike off in the process. I had the wait a while before going over to his vacated spot to retrieve the head bone, though The blood at the base is obviously where the minor blood vessels were broken during the shedding process. 

And this is the actual buck that cast antler above. As you can see, any very minor bleeding had now stopped; new growth started immediately.  

The reduced height of the vegetation makes it easier to photograph the deer using the gaps between the trees as pathways. 

The roe deer love ivy, particularly in winter, and they will reach along the trucks of bushes and trees to plunder its value as a food source. 

In general, the deer are more difficult to spot in the colder months than they are in summer; that's for two reasons: one of those reasons is because a lot of time is spent in dense cover. 

And the other reason is this: they are generally less active. if you get to know the deer in your area, you can observe their preferred resting spots. Fawns tend to want to stay close together, including when sleeping. However, having said that, they don't normally sleep this close to each other.  

Yawning after getting up. 

Since the day this doe fawn was born, the parental bond with her mother remains strong. 

By the end of the month, the bucks' new antler grow can be clearly seen.


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