One December morning and it had been days and weeks I had been chasing the chance to capture the fallow deer and all I got was a glimpse of their shadow fading into the morning mist. Exploring to find new species in a new habitat has always been a challenge—it is almost never easy to find them, though. They have long been aware of the fact that their survival depends on keeping away from humans, and this is what makes the path to finding them a challenging one. It was an autumn evening when I walked into their realm for the first time. I had been tracking the area two hours to sunset: vast plains and land leading to tall trees on the north and the west. The river flew into a lake in the heart of the jungle, a lake swallowed by tense old trees, sunk into a dreamy dark void ideal for any species to take refuge in. Knowing I had no way of chasing them in the woods, I had to wait and trust my years of experience as a wildlife photographer. I had known these beautiful creatures long enough to be sure they were going to leave their fairy tale of a shelter; the temptation to feast on fresh, sun-fed greens.
I followed the trail back, having previously arranged to spend the night at Jagdschloss. Many hunters, namely nobles, had spent their hunting nights at that same lodge. The architecture had been preserved; the wooden columns stood as glorious with red deer and roe deer antlers. The antlers were reminders of the days the deer pranced European meadows in large herds—days when the heart of roe deer, hiding in bushes, beat faster on hearing hound dogs.
Having dined at the lodge, I headed to my room and packed my gear for the morning journey I had for so long awaited. The adventure ahead fascinated me so strongly that it put me into a cozy sleep and dream of the close encounter with the European fallow deer. I rose up minutes before dawn; there was no second I would waste as I had my gear ready I embarked on my journey following the trail I knew to the plains. The morning sun was as gold as ever, shining on morning dew on the grass, forming beautiful reflections. The plain was sunk in fog and it was very hard to see. I had to choose my path. The north with tall grass was tempting enough as a hiding spot for the deer; in the east there was a lake and that is the path I picked rather unconsciously. Those lakes are surrounded by trees and have stories to tell and secrets sealed. As my vision was limited, I was carefully observing the woods to spot any movement.