Closeup of Elk bull keeping watch on his harem. Taken a couple of weeks ago, this big fella had his harem of 10 near Mary’s Lake in Estes Park, away from any real competition. That allowed him to enjoy a quiet evening by the lake with the ladies, something we all would enjoy. 😉
In front of the eye you may notice the ‘preorbital gland’. Elk, deer and a lot of other hoofed animals have them. These scent glands secrete pheromones and other chemicals. They then will rub their faces on bushes and tree branches, commonly believed as a way of marking their territory.