The Ottawa Rut of 2011
by Jim Cumming
December 21, 2011
Regal Stance - He froze not knowing what to do, a dog had been spotted.
Well the rut of 2011 has come to an end here in Ottawa, and this year was just as awe inspiring as it was back in 2008 when I first ventured out to the Old Quarry Trail in the NCC Greenbelt located near my home with my Canon 40D and 70-200 mm f4 lens.
Clash of the Titans - I watched as the 2 big bucks playfully fought each other
I started frequenting the area I always have in late October this year while the leaves were in their final stages of autumn/winter change. I had hoped I would see some familiar bucks from the years before and see how they had grown and maybe get the chance to photograph some new ones as well.
Eight of the Ten bucks I photographed in this years rut
Being that I live in close proximity to the Trail it would allow me to venture out after work almost every day, and on the weekends I would arrive at dawn and sometimes not leave till dusk with maybe a handful of shots. What was different this time was I only encountered three bucks out of the nine I had photographed from previous years, where were the rest? I knew the area pretty well and hiked to all the spots I had seen them before but no sign of them anywhere. Had they gone on to greener pastures? Had they succumbed to old age? or had hunters come in and shot them? I hoped not….
I had seen him once last year, it was nice to see him again
After a few weekends with only a few sightings I started to see some new faces, a seven pointer here then a six pointer there. These new bucks were a lot shyer than previous year ones…sometimes I only had the chance to get one quick shot of them then they’d be gone in a flash.
I only had the chance to get one shot of this guy before he vanished from sight.
Jump Shot - I was lucky to get many of these type of shots this year more then ever
Like a bloodhound he caught the does scent and flew past me into the dense woods
One big leap and he was gone in a flash
On one crisp mid-November morning I had hiked over to an area I was not that familiar with when all of a sudden a doe runs past me and I thought right away that there must be a buck in the area so I took some cover and spotted a younger buck (a four pointer) sniffing the ground like a blood hound, Once he got her scent he flew by me like a bat out a hell. I was lucky to catch him in midair as he disappeared into the dense woods. Well that was cool! And so the rut of 2011 had begun, a little later than last year but just as exciting.
On Alert - a new buck emerges from the bushes and spies a doe as well as a couple of eager photographers
This six pointer walked around a group of does looking for a mate.
Over the next few weeks I would occasionally meet up with other photographers in the area just as keen as myself to get some memorable photos of the bucks, sometimes I would take them around to some of the locations I’d seen them before but it was always a hit and miss with finding them.
The final count on all the different bucks I had encountered this season was 10, ranging from a 10 pointer to a 2 pointer. It's now coming on Christmas and there is barely any snow on the ground to speak of…global warming? maybe….I'm still getting out to the trail as much as I can but I'm hoping for more snow.
Photo of Jim Cumming by
Bio: I’m an amateur photographer living in Kanata, Ontario and use the Canon 40D/7D cameras and Canon ‘L’ series lenses. I’ve been photographing wildlife for about 4 years and have been fortunate enough to have three of my photos displayed at the Museum of Nature here in Ottawa as well as being published in various magazines and newspapers.
To purchase any of my prints please visit my website: www.redbubble.com/people/darby8
Links to Additional resources
[ Top ]