The Elk rut is a time of intense activity with adult bulls challenging one another, bugling, and fighting. However in this moment, as a big bull bugled with his breath turning to steam in the frosty mountain air a cow and calf in the foreground lend the appearance of a family posed for a portrait.
Even during the frenzy of the rut a cow takes time out to do her duty as a mother nursing her calf. The calves, with the exception of a few late born, have lost their spots appearing as miniatures of their mothers.
Pennsylvania offers a unique opportunity to view and photograph elk close-up with the Winslow Hill herd being acclimated to where they pay little attention to humans. However these are wild animals in the sense that they are free-ranging and should not be approached too closely. The first two photos in this post were taken using a 600mm lens and the last with a 500mm at distances of 80-100 yards. A distance at which both the elk and the photographers remain safe.
Great blog post, Coy! Interestingly, I just posted a "close-up" blog entry today. I agree that we need to use the long glass to keep our safe distance. It is amazing that these creatures are so comfortable around us humans. They sure do make perfect photographic subjects, that's for sure! Great captures and great blog entry!
The first picture is especially lovely. Hope your weekend is great.
How beautiful! I just love your images.
Stunning photos of the Elk. Such nice color and light.
amazing shots..watching them in the wild must be a great experience..
Wow they really look impressive and they probably are when you are close to them... These are once again splendid shots Coy!
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