The Rut Begins in S. Texas

White-tailed Deer, buck at sunrise on a foggy south Texas morning.

With the cooler days of mid-December comes the rut in south Texas.  Smaller bucks have been engaged in mock battles since late November, but the big boys seem to magically appear from the dense, thorny cover a few days before Christmas.

The following images were made on December 13 when several exceptional bucks were locked down on does, but I saw no battles that morning.  The brush country was shrouded in fog but the sun started to sparkle of the wet grass and spider webs shortly after sunrise. 

Foggy sunrise in deer country.
White-tailed Deer, big 12 point buck making a scrape.
White-tailed Deer, bucks in the fog, s. Texas.
White-tailed Deer, bucks in the fog just after sunrise.
White-tailed Deer, buck trotting across opening, s. Texas.  This young deer isn’t ready to challenge the big boys, so he will be hanging around the edges of the breeding action this year.
White-tailed Deer; button buck watching mature buck make a scrape.
White-tailed Deer, bucks looking for does.
White-tailed Deer, two large bucks trailing a doe in estrus, s. Texas.
White-tailed Deer, bucks trailing doe in estrus, s. Texas.
White-tailed Deer buck, like a fine cutting horse, guides this doe away from other bucks.
White-tailed Deer, buck running after a doe, s. Texas.
White-tailed Deer, buck chasing doe, s. Texas

I’m hoping Santa will bring us some heavy-antlered bucks and cold weather next week.  A nice bit of jousting and flying dust would be good, too.  I’ll let you know.