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The Buck Stops Here

A white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) buck foraging very closely to us in Hickory Campground Site 65 at Manatee Springs State Park in Chiefland, Florida.

Near NW 115th Street, Chiefland, Florida: 22 October 2016

part of the Manatee Springs State Park 2016 album

After my first camping trip there in October 2014 turned out to be amazing — see "The Creatures of My Dreams" — Manatee Springs State Park in Chiefland, Florida has been atop my list of parks to revisit. Beyond the standard fare enjoyments of a state park along a waterway, Manatee Springs stands out as a favorite because it is absolutely teeming with wildlife.

The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) that live in the park are very curious and friendly, coming through our campsite several times daily to check us out while foraging. Nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) and raccoon (Procyon lotor) also make frequent visits and can be found elsewhere in the park. In warmer seasons, several species of snake can be found in the brush or swimming in the waterways.

A follow-up visit in October 2016 proved to be even better than the first. We had more frequent wildlife encounters and amazing photographic opportunities, most of which took place in our campsite. We also enjoyed a fantastic barbeque dinner followed by a boat tour up and down the Suwannee River thanks to concessionaire Anderson's Outdoor Adventures.

I was especially pleased that a white-tailed deer buck with antlers was among our regular visitors on this trip, since I rarely see them while camping. In addition to his visits to our campsite, I also saw this buck foraging alongside the park's main road not far from the Hickory Campground.

If you enjoyed these, you can view all twenty-five photographs featuring the buck in the Manatee Springs State Park 2016 album.

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