White-tailed Deer, 30" x 20" Oil on Canvas

In my home state of Illinois, the annual shotgun deer season is a time-honored tradition for generations of whitetail hunters. Some of my fondest hunting memories came from deer drives, where our group of friends and family would don blaze orange and tote smoothbore shotguns through the ditches and draws of our heartland. Our high school would even give you an excused absence for the opening day of gun season if you brought your deer tag to the principal's office - now there's a story for my grandkids one day.

When a mature buck realizes the pressure is on during a deer drive, they get smart. Really smart. Often laying low and letting drivers walk right past, these old bruisers would sneak out the back of the drive to live another day. Over the years, our hunting party watched from a distance as bucks slipped through the drive and took escape routes that nobody thought to cover. And those were the bucks that we saw.

In this painting, a gun hunter in blaze orange walks the elevated creek bank, oblivious to the solo buck that's used the cutback of a creek to give him "the slip." Maybe the hunter will hear the splash and turn to see a white flag and large rack disappear into the brush, his heart sinking. Or maybe he won't hear anything at all, finishing the drive and wondering aloud to his buddies how that ditch that looked so good could hold only a single, lone doe.

You can watch this painting in progress below. I hope you enjoy this behind-the-scenes video from my studio and be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay current on future videos.