I flew into Denver on November 5th, and would spend the next few weeks there. Good photographer friends, Mike and Missy, live in Denver, and I was able to stay with them the entire time I was there. I’m use to spending the night in my car, and having to drive long distances at times to photograph, so staying with them and only having a 20-minute drive was a luxury I’m not use to!
My photography goal for being in Colorado was deer. I didn’t get to spend much time at all here last year, so I really wanted to spend time here this year. At first, I was really focused on whitetail deer. I thought they would be in the rut when I got there, but they obviously weren’t. There were a few bucks chasing does around, but not a whole lot of activity. So the first few days I went out in the morning and evening, and then would go back to my friends mid day to get some computer work done.
I was beginning to wonder if it was just going to be a down year, because it was slow for a long time. Finally, on the 11th, I saw a fight and bucks running around all over the place! From there on I was excited and had some great opportunities. Being from TN, I really focused on whitetail at first, not only because their rut was going on, but because I grew up looking at whitetails. The bucks were bigger than what I was use to seeing in TN, and that was exciting! I did some hikes and lots of waiting, but the opportunities did present themselves.
It snowed a fair amount on the 17th, and that was a terrific day! I got some great whitetail and mule deer photos, and from then on I focused mostly on mule deer. The deer were much more active all day in the snow, and I just kept finding large deer to photograph. Another photographer friend got there that evening, and we crushed it as soon as he got there!
The mule deer in that area are some of the largest in the country. Comparing the size in mule deer and whitetail antlers is not fair, because a small mule deer would be considered a pretty good size whitetail buck. But even knowing the mule deer were larger; there were some real monsters! Seeing a deer with really wide antlers and lots of points is just not something I was use to seeing in TN. I continued going every day until the 21st, and I got some great shots and a wide variety of photos!
On the 21st I headed to Rocky Mountain National Park for a day to look for bighorn sheep. I found some, but I didn’t get anything great. I left Colorado on the 22nd to head across the country and be home for Thanksgiving. It was a long two days, and I drove 23 hours, but I got to East TN on the 23rd and hung out with my family over Thanksgiving. It was nice to be back in TN for Thanksgiving, and just being able to relax and play games. I definitely needed the break!
Since Thanksgiving, I have been back home in Tullahoma and trying to catch up on all the photos I have taken recently. It’s amazing to me every time how long it takes to organize and then edit the photos. I’ll be home off and on through the holidays before heading back west in mid-January.