Whitetail Deer And A Ring-Neck Pheasant. Some Year-End Visitors In My Back Yard.

Whitetail Deer And A Ring-Neck Pheasant. Some Year-End Visitors In My Back Yard.

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As many of you who follow my blog know, I have many whitetail deer, birds  and other critters visit my backyard in Hazle Township in Luzerne County.  I am blessed to have acquired, and live on 90 acres of land that I grew up on, and explored, as a child. I have many species of birds visit my feeders.  Bears, raccoons, opossums, red and gray foxes, skunks, groundhogs, gray squirrels, flying squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, and, plenty of white tail deer also visit my backyard. . My 90 acres of woodland is my Rivendell, my Pondarosa, my Hundred Acre Wood.  I love every tree and critter. 

I enjoy sitting on my deck in the Summer, or looking out my windows in the Winter and observing my critters.  I never know what may show up, This past week I was again pleasantly surprised . I have had an unusual number of large whitetail bucks visit my land this fall, 

These fellows are just two of almost  dozen of bucks, ranging from first year young bucks  ,

to  large 11 point bucks in their prime. 

I scatter  small amounts corn  in my yard to help supplement the natural diet of the deer. I spread it far apart to keep the deer from getting close and possibly spreading disease.  My deer herd has been healthy  since I built my house here almost 30 years ago. 

This past week, while watching a group of bucks in the woods, two of the younger ones,

began to engage in a wrestling match with their antlers. 

I watched as the  engaged in a reverse tug of war, trying to push the other with their body weight and strength. 

And a short time later these two larger and older bucks, 

engaged in a similar contest of strength,

It was a wonderful experience to be able to watch this contest that occurs throughout our woodlands every Fall. And I was excited to be able to photograph and share this experience here on my blog. 

I knew that whitetail deer use their antler during the “rutting” season to establish the right to mate with the does who are in heat. I did some more research and found this interesting article about  whitetail deer antlers and their use in rutting season.  https://deerassociation.com/defend-display-duel-antlers-good/

The deer are not trying to hurt each other, although injuries can occur, as can be seen by the scars one of the large bucks, the younger one.  They are only trying to establish their dominance which gives them the right to mate with the females in their territory.

The  older buck in the photo  has lost a lot of weight since he first showed up in my backyard in October. He is old and probably spent a lot of energy defending his status. 

I also have about 9 does who feed in my yard but who run like the wind into the woods when the bucks show up. 

I love watching these  beautiful and graceful creatures.  I am blessed to have them visit my backyard.  Here is a link to a galley on my blog website with more photos of the whitetail deer I saw in my backyard. Whitetail deer December 2022. 

And the antler clashing bucks weren’t the only surprise visitors to my backyard. On Friday afternoon I looked out my window and saw this ring-necked pheasant feeding in my yard. 

This was the first time I saw one of  these beautiful birds visit my yard in the 30 years I lived here. 

These invasive birds, they are native to Asia, usually live in farm fields in the valleys and rarely visit mountain ridges. Once again my backyard attracted another beautiful critter and once again I was excited to watch it,

and to be able to capture some photos to share with the followers of my blog. Here is a link to another gallery with photos of the beautiful ring-necked pheasant. Ring-necked Pheasant December 30 2022. 

I am truly blessed to have this wonderful tract of land and love sharing photos the beautiful critters that live here with me. I hope to share many more next year. Happy New Year!!! 

“Your growing antlers,’ Bambi continued, ‘are proof of your intimate place in the forest, for of all the things that live and grow only the trees and the deer shed their foliage each year and replace it more strongly, more magnificently, in the spring. Each year the trees grow larger and put on more leaves. And so you too increase in size and wear a larger, stronger crown.”
― Felix Salten,   Bambi’s Children

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