East Fork Muleys
I headed to Wyoming for Moose and Bighorn Sheep. We didn’t’ see a Moose (just some sign), saw a ton of Bighorn Sheep (which were fabulous) and were totally surprised by the ton of Mule Deer we saw. They got their name from those big ears and their large size and though common in the west, seeing big bucks is not common. Getting glass on them is even rarer so spending a week with them finding big boys every time we went looking was down right, bloody amazing!
The East Fork had hundreds of Mule Deer in herds of twenty or so, a few bucks and the rest does. While some of them would move off when we pulled up, the vast majority just looked at us as if we were nuts. Now the fact the majority of the time it was snowing and temps starting at Zero and going down from there, they might have been right. And while some of them might tolerate our getting out of the vehicle, they totally ignored us if we stayed in. Shooting hand-held with the Z6 / 180-400VR I was able to pretty easily make shots of bucks I’ve only dreamt of for decades!
That’s because bucks I’ve seen in California are always from the rear as they ran away. Spending time with Mule Deer just going about their business was a simple joy. The bucks were more interested in each other and where the does were walking to then those “silly” photographers shooting out of a car. They pay attention not so much by turning and looking, but by pivoting them big ears around and listening. And there’s kinda the trick in making the photograph, the direction of the ears. The middle photography, you can see the ears turned. That just might put off some viewers and not suck them in. I do know that there is one reason why I want to go back to the East Fork and that those amazing Mule Deer!