Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Hunt Begins: Sunday P.M. and Monday A.M.

After a mid-day break on Sunday I returned to the backcountry-this time to the reclaimed strip-mine where I photographed elk earlier in the rut. I was looking for elk of course, but my primary mission was to determine if the area was going to attract hunters in the morning. No elk appeared, but two separate groups of people did, and by their actions it was obvious that they were discussing hunting strategy for the next day.

I was using my Canon XL-H1 High Definition video camera in this case with the Canon 300mmF4 attached. When a Canon 35mm lens is attached to this camera it increases the power of the lens by a factor of 7.2 so that the lens is in fact the equivalent of 2,160mm.
The downside is that it gives a dismal image in poor light and one may not crop it to a great extent (in card camera mode). This camcorder delivers superb video which can be bettered only by cameras in the $30-100,000.oo price range, but it is a lackluster performer as a still camera, with most any point and shoot camera being able to deliver a better still image. They cannot: however, deliver detail at the extreme ranges that this camera can. Gaussian Blur was applied to the faces so the individuals are not readily recognizable.

Scouting for the next days' hunt?

Monday morning was bitter cold and frosty with a heavy fog and I was on station near where I saw the 6x6 well before dawn. When it was still too early for photography I could see the faint outline of an elk moving through the thick fog very close to me, but when I looked in my binoculars I could not find the animal. It seemed likely it was the bull, but I was not certain. Sometime after he went out of sight I heard antlers smashing against branches as an elk horned a tree. Shortly thereafter I heard a growling call from behind me and then a few elk bugles, but I was certain that this was a hunter trying to attract an elk by calling.

The elk was here when the fog was too thick to see well

In time the fog lifted revealing a beautiful autumn morning.

After taking a series of photographs of the area ,I walked to the reclaimed strip mine without spotting one hunter, but that situation was going to change. There was no doubt that hunters were in the area.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Well this is real interesting and as got me on the edge... Great pictures and your writing style as me fixed.