I love living within 15 minutes of a national park. In this case it’s Wind Cave in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Late this afternoon I grabbed my cameras and drove into the park to see what was out and about.
I saw some deer in the distance and wanted to get some shots of them, but of all the large animals in Wind Cave, the deer are one of the more skittish. So I parked my truck where they could not see me and with a hill shielding me from their sight, I sneaked up to get as close as I could. When I crested the hill they saw me at the same time I saw them. They froze for one second and I quickly took this photo:
Then they immediately ran. And you can see why the species is named White Tail Deer:
Later I saw a herd of at least 50 elk about a half mile away — I was glad I had a 400mm lens. Here is a portion of the herd:
And after that, bison:
A couple of bulls were fighting. They didn’t look very serious about it — just a little casual head-butting.
Here is a 25-second video of the head-butting bison:
Other bison were calmly resting and chewing their cuds:
One of the younger ones looked at me and licked his lips. I tried to look mean back at him.