Passing the Buck

by Carl Strang

Mayslake Forest Preserve has been the center of operations for some bucks this summer. I’m not sure how many there are, or whether they are on the preserve full time, but this is the third individual I have seen.

Though still growing, the size and shape of the antlers make it easy to distinguish individual males.

He was only 20 feet away when I took this photo. I wasn’t being stealthy; he simply was unconcerned that I was passing so close. Sometimes it’s fun to look at a photo like this and try to pick out details missed at the time. I can’t really tell what that dark spot is in the left ear. It may simply be a scab. He was feeding, and unless I miss my guess this particular mouthful was the developing seed head of a smooth brome grass. That’s this year’s botanical study paying off.

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