|Distant Cows and Calves In Early Morning: Canon 5D MKIII-500mm F4|
The family groups are extremely shy--in fact the cows are much wilder now than during hunting season, even after other animals in the herd have been killed. Part of this may be an instinctual thing, with the cows reflexively trying the protect the calves from any perceived threat, or it may be because the PGC captures several calves each year and fits them with collars and ear tags, which would tend to make any animals that have been around this activity somewhat spooky, or it may be a combination of the two.
|Alert Cow and Calves on Winslow Hill: 5D MKIII-500mm F4|
On Tuesday morning I filmed a herd at a distance with the 5D MK III and 500mm lens and as usual they quickly worked away from me. I parked in a nearby parking area and walked into the back country taking both the 5D MK III and the T3i. I worked in the direction the herd had gone and saw two cows standing about 150 yards away. One of these was definitely an acclimated cow as it had a numbered collar. This cow is usually not shy, but the cow that was with her immediately picked me out even though I was partially obscured by brush and was as cautious as though I were after the wildest whitetail deer. I put the T3i in position with the 100-400mm lens and filmed these elk. The cow that was not collared started walking in my direction, until it was only 50-75 yards away and then barked at me. After a time it left to rejoin the collared cow. I remained in the woods and after awhile these elk started to leave and several other cows and calves came out of a nearby strip of woods and ran across the meadow with these two following. There is a scenic overlook in that direction so I decided to go there and take some scenic photographs. At this point I was striding through the meadow quite rapidly as it seemed the elk encounter was over. Suddenly I noticed a large brown shape to my left out of the corner of my eye, and was surprised to see that it was a calf lying in the grass. This was only a few yards past where I first sighted the two cows standing together.
|Elk Calf Hiding In Grass: Canon 5D MK III 24-105mm|
|Elk Calf Up Close: 5D MK III- Canon 100-400mm @ 320mm|
Calves will become easier to photograph in the weeks to come, as the herd settles down somewhat and the cows become less protective of the calves.
Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.