Monday, November 22, 2010


Early November. This is the period of the rut when things get surreal.

When bucks show up in the strangest of places - in broad daylight.

Drawn by the lust to breed, bucks shadow does in heat, where ever it may take them.
Not unlike a dutiful guy tending his girl all the way to a woman's store at the mall.
The price we pay for love.

I noticed this buck tailing a doe in front of WMU's School of Engineering at daybreak on the 8th. It's possible the doe was grazing there for breakfast and got trapped by the sudden traffic of the day, or perhaps the buck had corralled her there for a private little tryst, away from other competing bucks.

The hunchbacked buck below was little threat because of a crippling wound from a previous year. It was a sad sight to see him limping around, driven by his own lust, hoping to get in on the action. He was a fine 10 point at one time and I'm sure quite a player when it came to the does. He was always a step behind the dominant but would limp away with little more than a stern look.

When traffic started to pick up, the doe and buck sought some temporary cover in the tall, landscaping grass. As it is with doe so often, she suddenly bolted out of the grass and high-tailed it out of the area for another quirky little island of cover basically in the middle of another field - also out in the open and next to traffic. Right behind her was the eager 8 point.


Seasons Greetings,

Just a reminder that my wildlife photos at Water Street Coffee Joint (downtown location) are coming down this Saturday. So, if you’re looking for a unique, locally made gift, consider a fine art photograph of native wildlife to gift that special person in your life. 

Prints range in price from $10 to $75, making it possible for just about anyone--even in this economy--to take a little bit of nature home with them. 

Stop on in this week for a cup of coffee with chickadees, herons, bucks and coyotes.  

Enjoy the last days of Autumn and the forthcoming Winter wonderland. 
Happy Holy-days!

Matt Clysdale

Saturday, November 20, 2010


When I'm chasing a buck--nose to the ground, so to speak--it's easy to fly by the rest of the forest, especially the canopy. 

It's nice to stop and look up. 

And then eat my lunch.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Last summer I stumbled upon a very promising mature buck with an impressive rack (below). He was hanging with another bachelor who was literally and metaphorically out of focus for me; this beta buck's rack didn't have the same grandeur as our big buck in the foreground and consequently I never gave him any thought - until now.

After scores of days in the field, searching for that bigger buck, to this day, I still haven't had a single sighting. Instead, that blurry buck in the background has come to the fore and proven to be the Don Juan of the area. I've run into him about a half dozen times now, and nearly every single time he's been hot on a doe.

This first photo (above) was caught on the run when I saw him hound-dogging a doe group. The photo gave me a chance to study his rack and that's when I realized who he was - and pleased with the way his rack had grown out.

Given the way this buck has been ruling the roost, without any real competition--compounded by a sighting and reports of hunters (there's no hunting allowed in this area)--I'm starting to think the bigger buck got poached. Something I never, ever expected for the public property they live on in the city.

I can just hear the experts chuckling right now thinking he's just a wise and wary old buck, giving me the run around. Well, I'm not so sure. Unless his libido has expired, he should be courting or fighting for one of the many does in the area and making himself known. 

I hope he proves me wrong.

In the meantime, this backup has proven to be a decent substitute. I can't complain.

Sunday, November 7, 2010