WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – DINNER ISLAND RANCH WMA, FL
This is an early morning photograph taken at the Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area of a pair of young White tail Deer. The gear used for this subject was a Nikon D90 camera body attached to a Tamron 28-300mm lens and Tamron 2x teleconverter.
Located Southwest of Clewiston in southern Hendry County, Dinner Island’s thirty-four square miles of pastures, sloughs, pine flatwoods and oak hammocks form a vital link to surrounding wetlands that connect the Caloosahatchee River with the Big Cypress Swamp fifty miles to the south.
White-tailed deer, the smallest members of the North American deer family, are found from southern Canada to South America. In the heat of summer they typically inhabit fields and meadows using clumps of broad-leaved and coniferous forests for shade. During the winter they generally keep to forests, preferring coniferous stands that provide shelter from the harsh elements.
White-tailed deer are herbivores, leisurely grazing on most available plant foods. Their stomachs allow them to digest a varied diet, including leaves, twigs, fruits and nuts, grass, corn, alfalfa, and even lichens and other fungi. Occasionally venturing out in the daylight hours, white-tailed deer are primarily nocturnal or crepuscular, browsing mainly at dawn and dusk.
In the wild, white-tails, particularly the young, are preyed upon by bobcats, mountain lions, and coyotes. They use speed and agility to outrun predators, sprinting up to 30 miles (48 kilometers) per hour and leaping as high as 10 feet (3 meters) and as far as 30 feet (9 meters) in a single bound.