The Contenders

Dawn at Big Meadows, Shenandoah National Park. Time for a duel. A duel between youth and age.

In one side of the corner is the ten-point buck. At least five years of age, due to the growth of his antlers. Marked with a big green “X” and a GPS signal generator for park tracking purposes.


In the other is the challenger, a young buck. Aged between three and five years of age with six-points.


They stand off, waiting for the bell to begin the fight.


Ding, Ding, Ding! Let’s fight!

Ok, so maybe there weren’t a lot of fireworks, nor was blood drawn, but Green X made the point. This was his territory and it was time for the young buck to take off.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After the battle, Green X walked calmly past only ten feet away from me, while the young buck ran off into the meadow ready for another day.


14 replies »

  1. It can be wild in the wild. I am happy there were no blood. I have understanding for science, but somehow I feel sorry for wild animals who have to carry these neclaces. Nice photos.

  2. Well you certainly were in the right place at the right time! These are awesome and yet such a subtle and gentle “battle”. 😉 I too feel sorry for the guy with the necklace though, that looks like it can’t be very comfortable. I hope they don’t feel anxiety like we do cuz I tell ya, I’d be going crazy and my mind would be wasting!

    The video and its soundtrack are great fun and while I’ve seen a lot of bucks in my life I’ve never had this privilege. Thanks for sharing. Also, I really appreciate your capture of the young buck and his stare; he looks like he’s trying to be so hard. It’s cute really.

    • I think they have gotten used to their park jewelry. As before I saw them scratching at it, and this time nada. The deer there are so contented as they aren’t hunted and feel quite safe and secure. They live much longer in Shenandoah due to protection.

      Thanks for your kind comments on the video. I’ve got to get much better at filming these dramas. The fact that I was able to witness this truly made my life complete. It’s one of those rare moments that only nature get to enjoy. The young buck was rather cute and a little persistent. Green X made sure he stood his ground stoically.

      • I’m sure they do, just when I see them I want to scratch myself! My cockatoo has an “ankle bracelet” and he’s never seemed bothered by it. Every once in a while he’ll twirl it around his ankle with his beak but for a bird who won’t leave a scab on my hand alone he’s really adjusted to it as if it’s not there.

        Hey, props to you for tackling videos. So you do all the editing yourself then? My little brother took to film editing and he was really good at it. I would have never guessed he’d have gone that route but he loved it, music, smooth transitions with effects and everything. Snowboarding and extreme sports seemed to be his favorite but he later moved into making videos of him cooking. I’ve found the ability to move between mediums is priceless. Some days I just don’t want to write (or anymore) but my camera and Photoshop call out to me. One day in the not too distant future I will venture into video editing. I hope you keep at it. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.