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Buz Kiefer | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> The Rut Continues tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

The Rut Continues

The fighting bucks Dick and I saw a few Sundays ago were a rare treat to witness but nothing like what we witnessed yesterday. As we photographed a small buck and a larger one in a gathering of does, another large buck entered the field very close to us and squared off with the larger buck. The two went at it tooth and nail for a full ten minutes, by the camera, without pausing to catch their breath. This was no jousting match; these guys wanted to kill each other. Near the end their tongues were hanging out from exhaustion. The distance from us ranged from 20 feet to 30 yards as they battled without concern for our presence. At one point they sidestepped down hill rapidly sideways in our direction, locked together, stopping barely 30 feet away. As I shot I could feel the ground shaking from the pounding of their hooves. The clash of the antlers, their snorting and the flying dust added to the adrenaline rush. At times I didnít know whether to keep shooting or just watch them; it was that exciting. There were several deep cuts and the eventual loser appeared to have severely damaged his jaw. This was one amazing fight to have witnessed so up close and personal.

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