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Roe Deers in Järva County Part I

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

I sometimes make jokes about myself that I probably have my eyes focused more on fields, woods or groves than on the highway when I'm driving somewhere. Somekind of a photographer's thing or something. During the last few years, when I have driven to my hometown Paide, I have almost always seen Roe Deers by the road in different places. Over time, their location has not changed much, so most of the time they stay in teh same place for a long time. I have tried to shoot photos of these beautiful animals before and I have succeeded on a couple of times. Given the expectations and goals, what kind of vision of the image I had previously created in my head. Rather, however, these shots have been in the style of "I'm just heading out and lets see what is happening". However, your eye and everything else develops from year to year and new ideas and challenges arise. In connection with this, I once again had a plan to capture photos of Roe Deers around my area. This time with a more planned way. The plan was simple and clear. In the evenings, a few hours before the sunset, be somewhere in a potential place where I can see Roe Deers. Also, either go back to the same place the next morning, about an hour before sunrise, or choose a new place. Arrive in the dark as unnoticed as possible and remain hopeful and just wait. Secondly, to get the closest possible shot of an animal, my own personal Sigma 70-200mm focal length lens was not enough. Even if you use the 1.4x converter, 98-280mm would still be not enough. I am not saying that it is not possible to take a picture of an animal with such a focal length. Of course it is, but you just have to get very close to the animal and probably have more luck. The image below is taken, for example, with a focal length of 280mm. My first picture of the Roe Deer buck two years ago, which caused pride and satisfaction. In the end, of course, what goal you set for yourself depends on what kind of picture you want to return home with. In this regard, I decided to try something new and take a different approach.

Curious Roe Deer buck in nature

This story that you are reading here happened about 10 months ago from the time I'm writing it (April 2020). This time I didnt have my own telephoto lens so I decided to rent a more capable lens, which was the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport. Why this particular lens? I had been able to take photos with it for a few hours before and was curious to try it more. It seemed also challenging at all to take a photo with such a lens.

Sigma 150-600mm lens

At that time, the sun rose somewhere around 6:20. At 4:20 there was alarm, a small morning chill and then headed out. Since the first place was not far from home, I didn't have to drive very long and woke up a little later. First I decided to drive around Paide, near Kriilevälja and see if anything was going on there. The result was one fox who I watched for over an hour and two rabbits who were just running around. The fox finally took a small nap. I tried to sneak closer, but unfortunately I got caught and he was gone. I drove around for another hour, unfortunately I didn't see anyone anymore and I finished my morning adventure.


Running fox

In the evening the sun was setting at 20:20. About 2 hours before the sunset I wanted to be in the place. As a rule, I reserve more time for myself in almost every situation, because I never know what might happen, and then at that moment I would still have time accordingly. The first place that evening was around Anna. I drove there for about 15 minutes and I didn't see any Roe Deer there when I arrived. It was now the place where I had seen the Roe Deer quite often and I consciously went there. I drove around for about an hour, but nothing. Since it was still a little under an hour before sunset, I decided to choose a new place where I knew I could see the Roe Deer the same way. The journey to the new place took about 15 minutes. When I had stopped the car at the side of the road, I saw something by the woods. I grabbed binoculars and there were two Roe Deers eating in the field. I had the opportunity to get closer to them via a small muddy forest road. I left the car at the beginning of the road so I would not scare the Roe Deers with a noise and went on foot. Right next to the forest road on the left was a small bush, which gave me the opportunity to move forward carefree at first until I came quite close to the animals. I saw a Roe Deers through the bush and I layed down on my stomach and crawled to the edge of the bush, so I had a direct view of the two Roe Deers from the open field. Unfortunately they had decided to move away from me and go to another area, which was about a few hundred meters away.

Small Roe Deer family

The time had reached to 19:45. Although the Roe Deers were already very far from me, I decided to keep an eye on what they were doing and where they were going. At the same time thinking about maybe coming back here in the morning. I decided to move about 50 meters further, I still went unnoticed and sat down next to a new bush. I didn't want to push myself, that it is absolutely necessary to get some photos so I just sat and watched for about 15-20 minutes what the animals are doing. In fact, it's pretty cool to watch them without they even knowing you are there. In the meantime, you might even forget that maybe you could take a picture or so. In short, I sat there until the Roe Deers suddenly changed direction. If before they moved away from me, now they turned a little over 90 degrees and gradually started to come towards me instead. Since I was sitting there next to the bush, not directly in the bush, at that moment I decided to stay there and not move. Hoping that suddenly they would come as close as possible and I would be able to take some photos. At some point the buck was separated from the other Roe Deer and came closer and closer to me, and at some point he saw me. It is known that the bucks can be quite curious in the meantime, and the animal did not restrain itself either. For a while he moved even closer to me, posed a little and then a little more and then suddenly began to fall back and quietly disappeared into the woods. I had no idea of ​​the other Roe deer, where he had gone. The first day was over. I walked back to the car while enjoying the nice colored sky caused by the setting sun. The only thing I knew at that moment was that I would come back here early in the dark and hide myself properly in the bushes and wait until the Roe deers come to the open field to have a breakfast :).

Roe deer buck posing

Roe deer buck posing

I will write about what happened the next day shortly. Stay tuned...

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