White-tailed deer and fall colors... does it get any better? Being a bow hunter, I get to see a lot of deer and study their habits and tendencies... sometimes at very close range. In the edge of a slash of late afternoon sunlight, two skittish does have spotted a likely intruder and are on verge of bolting. Back in the shadows, a buck is alerted by the does, but holds tight hoping not to be discovered. The does serve as a kind of alarm system and their nervous nature keeps them highly alert. The old buck hasn't lived this long by making dumb mistakes. This tactic has worked for him before. Like a rabbit in a brush pile, someone would practically have to step on him to make him run.
The buck represents an element of "secondary discovery." I like using this concept on occasion, but only if it's something that occurs naturally. As in the real world, our eyes are drawn immediately to the exposed does and their upward stretched necks. To the casual observer, the buck may go unnoticed... even though he's in plain site.