Sunday, March 6, 2011

Winslow Hill: Bull Elk In Winter

6x6 By Roadside
Tuesday March 1, 2011, in Pennsylvania's Elk Country, and a young 6x6 grazes in a camp lawn on Winslow Hill as the rays of the mid-afternoon sun provide a welcome relief from winter's cold.  Some  consider this to be a large bull, but he is not--although he does have potential.

6x6 Up Close: Note Damaged Points
This situation was perfect for the 70-200mm lens as one was able to take an "animal in its' environment" type shot at the 70mm setting and a close-up portrait type when zoomed in to 200mm.

Later in the afternoon, I found a portion of the large herd that ranges Winslow Hill near the intersection of Tucker Lane and Winslow Hill Road.  There were two bulls, one a respectable 6x6, the other a raghorn.

6x6: Dudley's Meadow
Raghorn: Dudley's Meadow
They had a few brief sparring matches, but I was unable to film or take photographs of these encounters because of intervening cows.  The 300mm F2.8 worked quite well in this situation, although the 500mmF4 would have also been an excellent choice for a head and shoulders portrait shot.

I saw not one mature bull from Tuesday afternoon, until the end of the trip on Thursday evening.  It was common to see several  on Winslow Hill and in the Medix Run to Driftwood  corridor before the current elk season began in 2001.

All photos taken with Canon 7D.  Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


Dina said...

I can only imagine the thrill of seeing such big animals in the wild.
Meanwhile, thank you for these pictures.

Feral Female said...

What a thrill it must be to see such glorious elk. Thanks for sharing those grand images Willard!

JimB said...

Beautiful shots of the elk. Your commentary is right on. Some of the elk guides/outfitters want folks to believe that harvesting only large bulls makes more large bulls-but the data is showing that to be a figment of imagination. My experience is similar to yours in viewing bulls.

In two weeks-we will be going backcountry away from viewing areas and roads to see if the theory that the large bulls have suddenly become more reclusive!

Something with harvest quotas and actual cull management needs to be done soon as we will in near future have a herd of raghorns and malformed!


Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

hi willard! did he damage his antlers in a fight? wondering if that is painful...lovely bulls and very beautiful expressions. one has the eye like my ringo who is now gone. a hunter friend of mine told me yesterday to look for 'shed' now because they won't last long since the critters knaw on them for calcium... i have never found any antlers in my woods, only in the fields last year when i found both of bossy boy's...

Anonymous said...

The first two photographs of the 6x6 are magnificent!

Anonymous said...

I love these shots. I hope they are safe for now. Are there places these animals know about that are people proof? Gosh I hope so.

Just imagine that these same woods and even in Ohio once supported great numbers of Woods Buffalo, a smaller version of the Plains Bison but a darker color. Some called them black. The last one was killed in Ohio while crossing a stream but that was over 100 years ago.

I don't know how Sasquach has managed to elude capture or being killed for so long.