I was able to photograph a couple of deer in person this past weekend at Old Alton Bridge Park. No Scouting Cameras required this time.
The sighting occurred as I was walking along the Elm Fork Trail. I was following a part of the trail that runs parallel to to an open cow pasture—private property.
The view of the pasture was mostly obstructed by a narrow row of trees that follow the fence line around the field. But, if I made the effort, it was possible to see past the tree and have a look at the open meadow beyond.
I was concentrating on doing that very thing on Saturday morning when I caught a glimpse of a lone deer standing in the middle of the pasture. Excited, I quickened my pace, stealthily trying to keep an eye on the deer while also working to find a place with an unobstructed view.
I was so focused on the whitetail in the field, in fact, that I did not notice the deer on the trail right in front of me until after she flushed. My intrusion sent her fleeing into the cow pasture to join the other deer there. Now they were both alerted to my presence.
With added urgency, I rushed to find a clear view before both deer fled the scene. When finally I found one, I was pleased to see not two deer, but three! It was a doe and her two late summer fawns.
The trio had moved to the far side of the pasture, where they paced around nervously. They were intently focused on identifying my location, but this time it was me who was using the cover of the treeline to good effect.
Then, something startled the deer from behind their current position. All three turned their heads to investigate.
I am not sure what it was that disturbed the deer, but they did not like it a bit. It clearly made them doubly antsy.
Now they had a dilemma on their hands—if they fled from the new threat it would require them to head back in MY direction.
It took the deer a few seconds to work up the nerve. When they finally did, they committed to their course of action with gusto and began running flat out and straight toward me.
When they had covered about half the distance between us, the deer surprised me again. This time they veered sharply to their left, and all three soared over a low place in the pasture’s barbed-wire fence. They had obviously used this escape route in the past.
In response, I hurried down the trail just in time to see the trio cross over and disappear into the thick woods in the heart of Old Alton Bridge Park.