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pointless struggle - sad story
Posted By: axl, 11-01-2009, 04:30 AM

On my last day off, I decided to go to Richmond park to give my FA*300 some deserved spin. I was hoping for some action shots but I think I got more than I bargained for.
I stared on small slope with some casual deer shots. After while I got tipped by other wildlife enthusiast photog that just across the road was quite some fight going on. So I quickly hurried over there and I found tow fully grown stags fighting it out! At first I got very excited and started fifing away. After while, I concentrated more on the pics and started to get some keepers. Still not up to standard I wanted but I was happy. Then I noticed that the males seemed to be locked in the struggle. Their antlers interlocked and one ripping other's mouth.

They were fighting hard, but at times it seemed they were trying to set each other free. Nothing stood in their way, grass, logs, ditch....

some steady breaks, and some pretty fierce pushes...

but the injuries began to take the toll..

after while I had park ranger next to me asking me if one is injured so I quickly showed him couple of shots. He alerted another rangers who after assessing the situation tried to separate the two using long log and jeep. Since these attempts failed miserably they decided to shoot the injured stag and subsequently tried to free the other one. But since the annual cull is around the corner they were not trying all that hard (looking at it from where I stood) so the end was really sad:

it left me bit shaken and feeling really sad. Prior to this battle, these two would have been some of the finest males in the herd. It was just really sad they ended up this way.


As far as the lens performance goes, I'm quite satisfied, it delivered some fine results, but I need to improve my skills and technique in order to obtain more good keepers.
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11-01-2009, 07:50 PM   #16

Curious if the meat was used or just wasted. Sad if it was wasted.

11-01-2009, 08:17 PM   #17
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wow agree with the other powerful shots and animals.
11-02-2009, 04:20 AM   #18
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Wow.... that's so weird. I feel like i understand it a bit more why people get so upset at kangaroos getting culled down here. I have never even seen a stag in the flesh. To see one and then watch it get shot! Damn that would be hard.

As for the long lenses... I like to use my tool that I can 'the stick'. I call it the stick because it is so DIY and cheap it deserves no better name. Essentially it is a pice of dowel with a 1/4inch bolt mounted off it. This can screw straight in the tripod mount or if i'm feeling fancy i attach a $10 ebay ball head onto it and leave it loose enough to be able to aim the camera.
There are two sticks, one the perfect height for standing and one for kneeling. If either of the sticks ever broke or lost (or used to defend my sell from rabid kangaroos or those damn drop bears) them i would hardly shed a tear due to the low cost and small time required to make another.

Monopod? nah.... it's a stick mate.

11-02-2009, 05:07 AM   #19
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2 males in mortal combat to see whos the top dog ,and rangers find a excuse to end it for both..Whos is to service the females now TFS great series in the animal kingdom


11-02-2009, 06:59 AM   #20
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i hate watching the life struggles on wildlife, but it's compelling, evocative, and
to me, necessary... you've done a wonderful job with this series, well documented....
11-02-2009, 10:36 AM   #21
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Very nice photos, and I'll agree it was a sad ending... It would have been nice if they could have tranked them and disentangled the stags, but understandable if htey didn't have the gear to do so. Culling was definitely a more merciful option than leaving them. I do hope they used the meat.

Culling to suit the park size isn't an unusual option. We have a local "community forest" (for lack of a better term - privately owned, member-supported nature education group, in hte middle of our town) with a severe deer over-population problem. They have to do this every year to keep the numbers down to a manageable level.


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