Finally, after waiting for almost a year i got the chance to take some pictures of red deer in the mating season.
I heard about a spot in National Park de Hoge Veluwe called the Wildbaan and searched for some more information about it. According to some of the information this is really a huge gathering with hundreds of photographers that come from all around the Netherlands and even some from the surrounding countries. After reading a couple of blogs and websites i really wanted to see some of this beautiful behavior they wrote about and i prepared for a trip.
Saturday 2013-09-14 and its 06:30 in the morning and my alarm sounds, so i get up and stumble down to the kitchen to make coffee and a nice breakfast. My bag is packed and the coffee machine is doing its work so i get freshened up and loaded everything in my car. Prepared for an hour and 20 minute long drive, i took off and hoped for some cool experiences later on the day. Arrived at entrance Schaarsbergen (National Park de Hoge Veluwe), bought an entrance ticket with a map and entered the park. Did some driving through the park and looked for some nice spots to set my gear up and after a couple of hours after seeing nothing, something moved in the distance, right on the edge of the forest. Too bad i could not see what animal it was and before i even got the change to look through my camera it was gone. It was almost 13:00 hours and i headed of to the Wildbaan. A couple of photographers already parked there car and set up there tripod behind it to ensure there spot for hopefully some beautiful animal behaviour. So i also parked my car and walked up to man and asked him some questions. Real nice guy and he gave a lot of good tips so i thanked him and set up my tripod.
Still waiting for what was going to happen, slowly it was starting too get really packed with photographers and people who where out to catch a glimpse of the mating behavior of the red deer. Around 4pm a ranger came and spread some food around for the animals. About 30 minutes later a red deer was seen in the far distance. Then it happened, at the edge of the forest, a couple of female red deer (hind) came running towards us and a big male red deer was just behind them. When they came in range you could hear all the camera shutters doing overtime. The deer just walked around for a minute or so and then ran of heading towards the forest again. No fighting seen between the females and the male did his mating call a couple of times. When they entered the forest, i instantly looked at the images i had taken and could see that i had a couple of good images. After that i waited till 7pm and packed my gear and drove to another spot. Arriving at the other spot i could see a couple of red deer only they were way to far for me to get any decent images, so i enjoyed the scenery for a while and then headed towards home.
Arrived home and uploaded my images, cleaned my gear and had a really nice day. I hope too see some cool behavior next time i go there, hopefully next week. (Mating season only lasts for about a month)
Thanks for reading and if you like, feel free to leave a comment or tell something about your experiences.
Click here for a red deer image.