ImageSpotlight: Whitetail Lip Curl

I’m back after a bit of a delay. 2016 has been an unbelievably busy year and I’ve had to sacrifice the time I would normally dedicate to my blog. One does what he must and while I had to do that…right now, I must share the following image with you.

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Whitetail Buck: The Flehman Response

This beautiful whitetail buck is exhibiting a behavior that many hunters and avid naturalists alike recognize and commonly refer to as…the lip curl. Technically, this is called the Flehman Response, which is a name derived from the German verb “to curl.” This is a breeding behavior that occurs between late October – early January in the USA based upon geographic location. Bucks in┬áNorthern states (e.g. Iowa) may hit peak breeding time in November whereas in South Texas, peak breeding occurs mid-December to early January. So what purpose does the lip curl serve? Basically, the lip curl exposes an organ in the nasal cavity and allows a buck to get a deep whiff of something. In this case, he is trying to get a deep whiff of a lady friend with whom he hopes to hook up with…if you know what I mean.

Until next time, good light and keep shooting. –KEVIN

ImageSpotlight: Whitetail in Velvet

Backlit Whitetail In Velvet.

Backlit Whitetail In Velvet.

I was going through my whitetail files and found this image I had taken a couple of years ago. I thought I would share this now because it serves as a good example of why I generally do not delete photos if they are sharp. This buck came in so close that I had no choice but to crop the legs off in the composition. Missing legs can be a distraction to some viewers but since this photo was tack sharp, I filed it away and forgot about it.

Looking for a different image in my files yesterday, I came across this photo. Seeing it again two years later, I decided to process it because it had many things going for it. Sharpness has already been mentioned, but the backlighting has formed a beautiful rim light around the velvet antlers and these really pop against that warm, creamy background. The buck has a very alert pose, with ears finely attuned to whatever has captured his gaze. Taken in unison, these things make for a very pleasing image. I’ll leave it up to each viewer to determine whether this photos’ strengths overcome the missing legs but as for me, I am happy to have it in my files.

Until next time, good light and keep shooting. –KEVIN