The first Wapiti Wednesday of the season following my first captures of these mountain residents this past weekend.
Driving through the Kawuneeche Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park I came across a good sized herd of cows and calves enjoying the cool, damp weather. Most were not interested in me at all but this little one couldn’t hide its curiosity.
As I kneeled and started to snap pictures, it was intently focused on me, keeping close watch and no doubt wondering why I had interest in it. This year’s newborns are growing fast and as you can tell, starting to lose their spots.
Elk are one the of the largest members of the deer family. Native Americans called them ‘wapiti’ or light colored deer. The animals once had a wide range across North America but hunting and human influences now have them primarily found across the western parts of the continent.