Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Fight



Two Pennsylvania Bull Elk posture in an attempt to intimidate the other.




As these bulls passed the nearer bull took the opportunity afforded and charged into the flank of the larger bull. The attack was violent and could have ended badly if his antlers had penetrated his opponents flank. Fortunately, there was no penetration and only the pride of the larger bull was damaged.





With antlers locked in combat the bulls shoved and retreated, separating only to again crash together trying to gain the advantage. During this time I and another photographer was quickly maneuvering to keep in sight of the battle. The fight moved down over the side of the meadow and to view more than just the backs of the combatants required closing the distance to about twenty yards.

After considerable fighting the smaller bull suddenly wheeled 180 degrees and fled the scene at top speed. There was only one problem, I was in his path.

With 700 pounds of elk and antlers bearing down at what appeared to be a terrific rate of speed I grabbed my tripod and began moving as fast as my legs would move. As the pounding hoofs of the bull closed the distance I saw recognition in his eyes and with that he turned slightly to his left and passed within probably ten feet.

In retrospect the bull intended me no harm. His only concern was to get away from the larger bull. Was it exciting? Heck yes! The adrenalin rush left me with pulsating heart and slightly shaking legs.

The incident was something I would not have wanted to miss, but it is something I will try to avoid in the future.
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25 comments:

photowannabe said...

Whew...you had my heart beating faster too. Exciting and scary at the same time.
Fantastic series that I will only see up close through your pictures.

Christy said...

Wow. What a sight to experience. I don't know that I would have known what to do in that type of situation. I agree with you though it must have been exciting to see.

Kelly said...

Wow, great photos and exciting story! Great job!

Yen said...

That was pretty scary,right? But you really made a nice pictures! Hopefully though no more like that will happen in the future!~ Mine is posted HERE. hope you can drop by! Happy CC!~

Tootie said...

Wow, that had to be scary! You got good photos though. :-)

i beati said...

so awesome sandy

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Wow... I have never witnessed anything like that before and to see it in photos is cool but to see it in person must've been heart pounding... amazing story.
Mountain Retreat

Faye Pekas said...

Whow.. that WOULD have been scary! Before he headed in your direction it must have been quite a site to see though.

lv2scpbk said...

Great shots!

Bradley Myers said...

I am glad I am not the only one that gets myself in those spots. I show the animals the respect they deserve and give them their pace but something like this always seems to happen. No close calls this last trip.

I am sure they scared you but what an experience.

Keep them coming, I am enjoying the Pa. rut. Maybe next year I will meet you and your brother in Elk County.

Carletta said...

Wow! Great shots and an amazing story.
Thanks for sharing.

fishing guy said...

Salty: What an amazing encounter, something I would have liked to photograph from a distance.

Abraham Lincoln said...

This is Nature at work. Men often do the same thing.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Exciting, yes! But I'm glad to hear you were not hurt. That was mighty close!

June said...

Great shots!

Gretchen said...

What a truly awesome experience that had to have been! Was your heart pounding the whole time?

DeeMom said...

That would surely send shivers up my spine

Great pictures

babooshka said...

What a fabulous sight to witness.

ratmammy said...

wow!!!!! amazing! what a great photo opp!

Rayne said...

Wow! Scary moment there, eh?
Fantastic photos though so it was worth it.

Wolf Lover Girl said...

WOW! I've really been enjoying the pictures of all your elk. The story was great! And sooo glad the elk finally realized what he was running towards and went the other way.

~ Wolf Lover Girl

Misty Dawn said...

WHOA!!! I have goosebumps just reading this - and my heart rate increased too! What a truly fantastic (and a bit scary) story. I love this part "I saw recognition in his eyes..."

Rambling Woods said...

Hi Coy..I came to catch up on your trip and learn some things about elk. Very beautiful animals and I think you did them justice...

Shellmo said...

Exciting elk action and impressive photos to match!

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