Saturday, February 13, 2010

Camera Critters: A Look At Two Pennsylvania Bull Elk

Winter is an excellent time to organize the photo files and process shots that were not worked with before and the last week or so has seen me make significant inroads in dealing with 2008s elk photos. Yes, I said 2008, not 2009--that is how far I am behind. It seems like I usually process a few of the best or more interesting ones soon after they are taken, but what with dealing with video and all, it is common to go for a long time before things are completed as they should be.

2008 brought a lot of sightings of bulls that while large compared to animals in western areas open to public hunting, are not particularly impressive compared to some of the monsters Pennsylvania grew in the past and still does to a certain extent today.

Both animals were wearing numbered radio collars, which are used in population monitoring, but thanks to Photoshop it was easy to remove them so the animals appear as they naturally would. (This does explain how I know the numbers in this case)

Bull 8A Roars A Defiant Bugle

On this particular morning the bulls were competing for the attentions of a cow and locked antlers repeatedly, but I was filming them with the camcorder at that point.

Bull 62 Challenges 8A


8A Bugles Another Response

According to reports, Bull 8A spends the summer many miles away at Sinnemahoning State Park, but he returned to Winslow hill for the 2009 rut. I did not see Bull 62 during the 2009 rut. I do not know if he died of natural causes, was killed during the 2008 season, or was still alive, but never crossed paths with me. Whatever the case, I did photograph and/or film him for the first time in 2006 and each year since - until this year.

For more Camera Critters photos, Click Here!


12 comments:

LeAnn * ~ See Great Things said...

Wow, that frontal shot in particular is awesome! He looks so grand and majestic. ~

Carletta said...

The only word that seems appropriate is majectic!
Such huge wonderful animals. That rack is spectacular!
Carletta’s Captures.

Lisa said...

What beautiful animals! I love that the big guy's mouth is open in all three photos!! :O)

Lavender Cottage said...

Magnificent photos as usual and I enjoyed your Feb. 9 post as well.
Wondering if, during mating season the bulls ever attempt to charge at you when they see you with camera in hand?

Kritter Keeper said...

very educational! thank you for sharing. found you from camera critters...family used to be from south western pa...had no clue elk resided so close!

Martha Z said...

Magnificent animals and their bugle can send chills up my spine.

T and S said...

Lovely images Willard. The first one is my favorite in this series...Thomas

Müge Tekil said...

Beautiful photos indeed. My favourite is the first one too. Have a pleasant Sunday :-)

Willard said...

I have never been charged, but have had a few tense moments. On the whole these animals are quite accepting of humans and will ignore you if you show them respect and do not invade their personal space. I have heard of one instance where one knocked a photographer down when he got within a few feet of a bull and took a picture with a flash which resulted in the attack. In another case the photographer was calling the elk with a bugle call and he got too close and knocked the person down breaking a leg in the process.

lv2scpbk said...

Great shots. Happy Valentines Day!

Abe Lincoln said...

These are just fantastic shots, Willard. I wonder how they can carry that load on their head without getting tired neck muscles. I remember on the rifle range in the Army wearing a steel pot and liner and I think it was about 9 pounds and by the end of the day, from looking up, I had sore neck muscles in the back of my neck. I just can't imagine more than that.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Willard: Those are just wonderful captures of the big bulls.