Weighing up to 700 pounds and standing over six feet tall, Rocky Mountain Elk bulls cut an imposing figure. Throw in a massive 12-point rack and put that bull on a hill above you bugling and it gets your attention real quick.
This bull was standing watch in the #Colorado forest over his harem of about 15 cows and calves. The sound of another nearby bull bugling put him on high alert and he began patrolling the area giving his own warning call as he did.
You can learn more about these magnificent creatures here: http://www.rmef.org/ElkFacts.aspx
‘Are you looking at my ladies?’ A bull elk keeps close watch on his harem including making sure humans don’t get too close. He had a smaller sized harem of about 15 cows and yearlings.
The rut is winding down now. Having been to Rocky Mountain National Park 3 out of the past 4 weeks it is obvious the bulls are getting very tired. They are moving a lot slower, their bugles are quieter and they just don’t seem to have the energy they did when it started.
The changing of the seasons in the Centennial State is one of the best times of years here. Weather conditions are typically pleasant and up in the mountains the changing foliage streaks the landscape in gold. Throw in our abundant wildlife and you have some great photo opportunities.
I took hundreds of pictures this past weekend and this is my favorite – in fact it is one of my favorites that I have ever taken.
The sky was quite overcast but for a brief time soon after sunrise the sun made an appearance at the horizon bathing this area of Rocky ?Mountain? National Park in sunlight. At the far edge of the meadows, aspen trees were radiant gold. In the foreground, an ?elk? bull bugled as he kept close watch on his grazing cows. It was an amazing scene to witness and I am very pleased to have been able to capture it.
‘Didn’t your mama teach you not to talk with your mouth full?’
This bull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park was calmly eating breakfast until he heard another bull nearby bugle. That prompted him to sound off as well to serve as a warning that interlopers were not welcome and that he would defend his harem of 20 or so cows.
Two young elk bulls square off on the shores of Lake Estes in Estes Park, Colorado.
While these two are young enough that they most likely couldn’t defend a harem from more seasoned competitors, they still are willing to practice future battles with each other. They sparred back and forth for 10 minutes or so with the slightly larger one (left) emerging the victor and poking the smaller one in the butt to chase him off.
Up in Rocky Mountain National Park we saw some more seasoned competitors challenge each other but only from a distance.
A bull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park takes note of the funny looking guy with a camera. 😉 Truly a handsome animal. Hoping to get back up there this weekend and see them again.
“Really? Pictures while I am eating breakfast?” This handsome bull elk was munching on some grass in Rocky Mountain National Park this past Saturday. Without a harem along, he was quite calm and more than willing to pose – even if that meant I was interrupting his meal. 😉
Getting wildlife to cooperate to get the ‘perfect shot’ is a losing battle. I was reminded of this lesson while taking pictures of elk in Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday.
Colorado’s most popular national park never disappoints with its abundance of scenery and wildlife. From sprawling mountain landscapes with 14ers to creatures big and small, all can be seen.
On this day I came across a small herd of elk grazing in a meadow. Staying a safe distance away, I started snapping some pictures and they looked at me curiously. Well, almost all of them did.
One of the five insisted on looking the opposite direction, never looking my way and preventing me from getting the picture I thought I wanted. In the end though, I kind of like the image.
It showcases how even in the animal kingdom, there is at least one that just doesn’t get it. 😉