Early May and Pennsylvania’s Northwoods is bursting with life, as the tender new leaves appear. At this time the two major events in the life cycle of the elk are the growth of the new antlers and the shedding of the winter coat. Last years rack is ordinarily shed in a period ranging from early March to late April, with the larger bulls losing the antlers first. It is common to see them with substantial new growth while many of the younger bulls have not yet shed.
I consider this to be the best photograph of a bull from my recent early May excursion to Winslow Hill as I found him in a woodland setting and he was illuminated by beautiful, early morning sunshine. This animal has the potential to grow an exceptional rack!
The thin, reddish hair of the summer coat replaces the winter coat. This process happens over a long period of time and the elk is disheveled or ragged looking until shedding is complete.
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