Two white-tailed (Odocoileus virginianus) bucks are practicing their skills. Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS, Canon EOS 7D, 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO: 250, 300mm, Manual setting
The photo was taken at the National Bison Range (Moise, Montana, USA) along the road near Mission Creek. They could care less that I was there with my camera. I even changed lenses. See the whole series of photos on my White-tailed Bucks Sparring album at SmugMug.
In early December, they are beginning their second rut of the season. Rut is the mating season of ruminant animals such as deer.
These young bucks were jousting back and forth by engaging one another’s antlers. As usual with young bucks and early in the rut, the match did not escalate into a full blown fight. They were just trying to figure out how tough they were and which one would dominate. I heard them grunt quietly once in awhile, but mostly I could hear the antlers “clank” or “rattle” as they touched or “clanked” their antlers together and wrestled. They engaged for a while, then backed off and pretended to ignore one another. Then they would come back together for another go at it. The whole series went on for about half and hour. Then they both meandered over a small ridge into the thick juniper cover
Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS, Canon EOS 7D, 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO: 250, 300mm, Manual setting
MCN :: C1XYE-Q7GLT-BPEXP