I first encountered him during the rut of 1997 and at that time I was shooting only video. In fact I did not begin to use 35mm cameras to a great degree in Pennsylvania Elk Country until 1999. As a result I have no quality stills of those early encounters, but since he is such a fascinating animal, I will post some "frame grabs" taken from video footage.
The first shot comes from an encounter on Winslow Hill where several mature bulls were chasing a hot cow. Fred was there, milling around the edges of the action. I had no name for him until the following year, but only know that he was an outstanding young bull. Someone later told me while looking at the video from this encounter that this was Fred.
|Fred: 1997-video still by W.Hill|
The following frame grab comes from a lengthy encounter on a foggy, frosty morning in 1998 when Billie Cromwell and I were both in the same spot. At the time he was shooting footage for the Pennsylvania Game Commission elk video, "Pennsylvania Elk: Reclaiming the Alleghenies", PGC videographer and video producer, Harold Korber used a portion of Billie's footage from this encounter in the video, while I later used a segment that I took at this time In "The Truth About Pennsylvania's Elk Herd". So while the still doesn't do the situation justice at all, it was somewhat of a historic moment. At the time Fred was still a "satellite" bull and the largest bull was with most of the cows a short distance away, but they were mostly obscured by fog. The herd bull in this case was the "Test Hill Bull", which Fred would defeat in a lengthy fight in 2001.
|Fred: 1998-video still by W.Hill|
|Fred: 1999-photo by W. Hill Canon Rebel X 35mm-Canon 75-300 IS|
|Fred: 2000 photo by W.Hill Canon Rebel Elan II 35mm-Canon 75-300mmIS |
|Fred's Wound From Being Gored: photo by W.Hill Canon Elan II 35mm-Canon 75-300mm IS|
|Fred 2001: photo by W.Hill Canon Elan II 35mm-Sigma 170-500mm|
Fred has to be nearing the end of his career, but what a run he has had. He has given countless hours of enjoyment to thousands of people.
I hope to continue this post at some point and show how his rack developed in the latter portion of his life.
Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.