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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