Alaskan Bull Moose captured by D5 / 180-400VR
The deer and elk around the ranch have all shed their velvet and the bucks and bulls are busy cruising for females. With the chill in the air and plants tucked in for winter, big game feels the pressure to procreate and get back to putting on fat while they can. This offers up great photographic opportunities for those getting out where the big game roam.
There are some considerations you must contemplate before you even make a photograph. Most importantly is the welfare of our subjects, they come before the photograph. Calories are precious and we cannot do anything that might cause big game to expel more calories because of our actions. This can is easily accomplished by using a long lens and not pushing the critters with our approach. Ideally, you never approach the critter but rather, let them approach on their own terms. You’ll not only protect their well being doing this, but you’ll also come back with better images.
When it comes to the rut, doing a little research on your target mammal is important. Moose gather up harems and spend time protecting them. Pronghorn do the same thing where Mule & White-tailed Deer don’t. You don’t want to get in the way of these activities yet take advantage of them. Watch the behavior before you make a move, understand the rhythm to protect the process while getting better photographs. You can do it, have a great time and come back with memorable photographs when the chill is in the air.