Fawn Crossing

A fawn completes a deep-water crossing of the Meramec River.

The home range of whitetails in Missouri is often dissected by large streams and rivers. In order to access different habitats and food sources, one of the first things whitetail fawns need to learn is how to complete a crossing, often in deep water. Fawns are hesitant when they are young, and mama might need to stomp around in the water for a while to encourage them but by early fall, teenagers such as this one think nothing of swimming across rivers.

Mama always goes first.

The fawn follows.

Committed to the crossing!

Safely across, but a little bit farther downstream.

It was quite a labor of love to obtain these images. After scouting for four mornings, I finally established a vantage point where I could capture detailed images if I happened to witness a crossing. The fifth morning required a predawn walk with a headlamp and chest waders to the stream and down a steep bank to water’s edge. After walking along the stream, I headed back up the bank into the woods and thickets in order to navigate around streamside obstacles. I continued to walk through a maze of grapevines, ragweed, poison ivy, green briar, nutsedge, and every other kind of ornery vegetation until I could get back down the 20-foot bank to streamside on the other side of the obstacles. When I made it back to the stream, it was time to wade (remember the chest waders?) out into the river through log jams and other obstacles to my final destination. Knowing that one stumble in the river current would have dumped about $15,000 worth of equipment (on my shoulder as always) in the river, I was quite relieved to settle into my turkey chair!

Special thanks goes to my friend, Marty Brunworth, for the tip that resulted in this edition. It would be impressive if every image I captured was a result of my own daily wanderings through Missouri’s natural landscape but that is not always the case. Marty is one of my many friends who is also a Missouri hunter so he is always on alert for interesting wildlife behavior. Thanks again Marty!

Thanks for looking,

DB

Announcement:  We are only a week away from my presentation, “Birds and the Nerds Who Adore Them,” at the Bryan Haynes Gallery in Washington, MO. I just checked the website and the event is still not sold out so if you are on the fence, now is the time to get a ticket. I can’t wait to share my favorite bird images with all of you and tell a few stories over a beer and some of Petra’s gourmet popcorn. Fun times! Get your tickets at the link below:

https://www.artbybryanhaynes.com/events/

America is beautiful. I vote to keep it that way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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