Big Cypress: White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) feeding in swamp - Kirby Storter, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

White-tailed Deer live in the Everglades and Big Cypress but they are seen only occasionally.  I probably can describe each and every encounter I had with them during my time down here in 2005.  They are very secretive and aren’t out in the open much.  I think that the tall grasses also help to hide them from visitors.

Prior to this trip, I had only photographed them in the Everglades once and the image is far from special.  The image I have been using in my book and whenver I talk about deer on my website is from farther north in Florida, though still in what would have been the historical Everglades.  Now I have new images!

The boardwalk at Kirby Storter, as I mentioned yesterday, is one of my favorite places.  I have spent a lot of time in there over the past month and on 3 of my 4 evening visits, I’ve had two White-tailed Deer feeding up to their bellies in the water.  After seeing them there twice, I returned the following day with a long lens in hand ready to try and photograph the deer.  Sure enough, there they were but boy were the conditions tough.

White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) feeding in swamp - Kirby Storter, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

These images were made possible by the amazing capabilities of modern cameras like my Nikon D3.  This image was taken with a 200-400mm Vibration Reduction lens at 400mm from a monopod.  The camera was set to 1/30th of a second and the aperture was f4.  The thing that made this possible was an ISO of 3200!  Yes, the image has some noise but it is not distracting and I am really pleased with the quality of the image.  Amazing how new technology, while it won’t make the image for you, opens up new possibilities in image making.

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  1. Drew, nice photos of the White Tail Deer. Any noise there may be in these photos is not noticeable at this size. I didn’t realize that there were White Tails in the Everglades and Big Cypress so it’s already been a good day with me learning something new.

    • Earl,
      Yup, White-tailed Deer are around though they aren’t seen all that much. However, they are pretty important to the ecosystem as they are the main prey item for the Florida Panther.

  2. George S. turned me on to your site. The color of the white tailed deer is nothing like I have seen before.I think the coat is too red compared to the naked eye. Well done, thanks for the post.

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