How Not to Photograph a Deer in the Wild from a Safe Distance

Back in March 2011, British adventure photographer Dan Milner went on a 9-day photo shoot in the Scottish Highlands for Transworld Snowboarding magazine. While there, he endured blizzards, 100MPH winds, -20° temperatures, and being headbutted in the lens by a wild stag.

It’s true: the video above proves it.

The strange and scary encounter occurred after Milner and his friend stumbled upon a deer standing by the side of the road they were on. Milner, being the thrill-seeker that he is, decided to leave the safety of his vehicle to get some up-close-and-personal shots of the stag.

Just for reference: this is too close

Just for reference: this is too close

The stag (understandably) didn’t appreciate the photographer sticking a camera up in its face, and decided to teach the intruder a lesson. With Milner crouching just feet away, the stag lowered its head and charged.

Luckily for Milner, his Canon 1D Mark III DSLR and lens took the brunt of the blow. The photographer only got a little bloodied:


In the video, Milner says that the stag put a scratch in his 1,400 quid (~$2,100) lens, but he later wrote that the “lens made it through. Probably the toughest test for an optic coating ever. Amazing.”

(via Jim Goldstein via Imaging Resource)

  • Ralph Hightower

    Deer: “Damned Paparazzi!”

  • Daniel Milner

    I must have been sleep walking…oh wait, it was the other Dan Milner :)

  • Elk?

    That isn’t a deer

  • michele

    this guy makes us all look bad.

  • josetomastocino

    And he’s using a Nikon 12-24 on a Canon body. No wonder why the deer atacked him lol

  • Phase19

    What a tool…

  • pentaxfan

    Too bad it wasn’t a Grizzly that tried to take him out.
    What a Tool

  • Dean W. Thompson

    It’s not an elk. It says it was shot in scotland, so my guess would be a red deer.

  • hysyanz

    one word “idiot”

  • Ayden Gotzmer

    He’s lucky he didn’t get impaled. My dog got hit by one of those antlers once and it went and speared her right through!

  • AlR

    Ever wondered what opinion has nature of the human thing?

  • tard

    What a ‘tard! Seriously no knowledge what so ever. Must have brains in his arse.
    Deserved more damage to his ugly face (and thats a very ugly face) and his camera.

  • Pete Harper

    At least he kept his looks…!

  • everardok

    so the title of the video says “man attacked” he wasn’t attacked, he provoked, serves him right

  • Display_Name

    he is filling the frame and getting it right in the camera. You guys say we should do this. We we so people get pissed. Like me he does not like to crop.

  • Gary

    You don’t want to crop? Er….can you say 200mm lens?

  • Don Tusk

    Oh deer god !

  • Display_Name

    Nah I dont like the compression… lol

  • Al Marcus

    But, did he get the shot?

  • W Ganness

    Did the same deer run into yur teeth mate?

  • wilmark johnatty

    1400 Quid? Really, thats not even an L series – how did you get that damage figure for the front element of an off branded lens?

  • Guy Williams

    idiot got let off lightly. Try some brain food in the new non-veg diet, could do with some

  • Guy Williams

    Challenge me, eh? Have some o that you pesky unicorn !

  • RBM

    It’s only funny ’till he loses an eye, which he came extremely close to losing…..but seriously, he deserved exactly what he got.
    It’s behavior like this that gives photographers a bad name, and good writers lots of great material to use when portraying photographers as self-centered idiots in the movies.

  • Don Tusk

    Oh deer god !

  • Matt Franks

    Thats a Nikon 14-24mm with an adaptor. Its a fantastic lens, and about $1800 USD.

  • DentistaBR

    Ele podia pegar esse dinheiro pra consertar esses dentes.

  • Adam Correia

    Please tell me you aren’t serious with this comment….

  • Cloudsuck

    So he was not attacked. Any other words that will suffice? Molested?

  • everardok

    how about the idiot provoked the stag :)

  • MT Nature Photog

    His shot is curiously absent, so I’d guess “no.”

  • Pete

    More importantly did you get the picture ?

  • Habib Kunark

    damn the stereotype that British have horrible teeth is true

  • facepalm

    Elk? Get serious. They are a shitload more massive, and dangerous.

  • Jona Herrera

    only a white guy … -_-

  • A_Lwin

    I’m glad he was not seriously hurt, but I see this as an intrusion upon wildlife. I thought wildlife photographers took care not to do such a thing.

  • Christoffer Rosenfeldt

    *ahem* 14-24.

  • John R

    There used to be a great deal of moaning that you couldn’t put a filter on the front of the Nikon 14-24, well if the coating survived this it must be good, either that or the pure Scottish rain left this fellas antlers as soft as silk.

  • Chris Newhall

    I LOVE both of those bands!

  • Chris Newhall

    He’s right, technically the deer was just defending itself from a predator. Dude even had both eyes on the front of his head, can you blame the poor deer?

  • kendon

    “Probably the toughest test for an optic coating ever.”

    yeah, war photography for example is nothing compared to that…

  • ChrisQuijote

    So many smart a**e people replying! I guess he underestimated the deer. Certain times of the year you need to give them space! Wonderful animals to watch. Nice to see the human humbled :-)

  • City boy!

    The brain that earned enough to pay for that lens has a very limited focus, and completely fails practical tests of intelligence. He was damn lucky, and so was the deer– imagine what they would have done to him if he had harmed the extremely dull photographer. Only thing that comes out of this with good marks on the road side of the picture is the lens/brain protector.