Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Canon L2 In Action: Pennsylvania Elk Fighting

I had no idea of trying to post a video clip today, but the desire to experiment surfaced, and I thought what better way to demonstrate what the Canon L2 was capable of than to show a fight between two monster bulls, which occurred during the rut in 1997.

The video lasts slightly over 37 seconds. I have found that Firefox requires one to download a flash player plug-in, which is a relatively painless procedure. It worked well in Firefox, but wouldn't display in IE7 so I did the entire post over. Then I found I had to download an update to the flash player plug-in that Firefox installed.

It's working for me now, but I don't guarantee anything! It starts with a fade from black and ends in that too.

I have recorded two fights in twelve years of videotaping elk. They “spar” quite frequently, which can be likened to arm wrestling among humans, but actual combat can be intense and sometimes results in death to one or both of the animals. This is most of the first fight I witnessed, with a bit edited from the center. The other lasted about ten minutes.

One Bull has a unique deformed rack. He was named, “Crazy Legs” by Dr. Perk. I asked him, why? He replied, “Because he likes to travel”. Unfortunately he traveled too much and was killed much later by poachers some distance away from Winslow Hill.

As best as I can tell the other bull was killed in the first elk season in 2001.
If I remember correctly this was taken with the normal lens and 2x extender.


dot said...

Hi Willard! Unlike Tina, I don't know a thing about hunting but that fight was pretty exciting. I don't see how they keep from getting tangled up and breaking their antlers but I guess maybe that does happen sometimes. I wonder if they make any kind of sounds while they are fighting.

Willard said...

They do break the antlers frequently. Usually it is just a point or so, but sometimes it is a significant portion of a beam.

Kekiinani said...

This is way cool. Sound even!!! Thanks for sharing I have never seen such a thing except on TV of course.. Wishing you a very Happy New Year. Aloha Renee :)

Kerri Farley said...

Wow! I probably would have been scared to death seeing that in person.

Thanks for sharing it with us! They are truly magnificent animals...I never knew just how magnificent until you started posting! You've opened my eyes up to a wonderful and majestic animal!

Happy New Year! All the Best for 2008!

DeeMom said...

Happy New Year

imac said...

Another good post.

Wishing you and all your family a very happy new year.

lv2scpbk said...

Wonderful photo. I took a photo today of Ice sculpture elk, but will post later, as today is theme day for best pick of 2007.

I couldn't decide and am leaving it up to the votes. I narrowed my down to seven. Yikes! Hate to say I just couldn't pick one. Come take a look and put your vote in.

Tina Leigh said...

I'm pressed for time but I wanted to wish you a Happy New Year! I'll be back tomorrow to catch up on the excitement that I KNOW you have here in the last couple posts I've missed. Keep up all your good work....your heart is in the right place. Blessings to you Willard this year...& to your family!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Nice video. Who would have thought you could catch such a brawl without hiring actors. What luck some people have. LOL

Nice work. I don't want to get too interested though as I have my hands full as it is.

Just wanted to thank you for the visits you have made and comments too on my blog in 2007. I hope to see more of your work in this new year. And I also wanted to wish you and your family and healthy and happy 2008.

Abe and Patty.

Kekiinani said...

Aloha Willard... Wishing you and your Family a wonderful Happy New Year!!! Thank you for all your comments on my blog. I have truly enjoyed visiting yours and learning something new about all those beautiful animals that you shot up!! :) :) Well ok not really shoot!!! Take care!!
Aloha, Renee :) :)

Tom said...

A great treat for me and Peter to see. We watched the film 4-5 times and amased by it. Well captured you must have been thrilled...
All the very best with this blog in 2008, I for one am so pleased you started it.

Tina Leigh said...

Willard that was TOOOO COOOL!!So you were just sitting there & then they decided to play a bit? This wasnt any kind of pre-rut I guess? I'm glad you had sound....or I'm glad I could hear it since I have kind of slow internet. Peaceful sounding up there. NEAT!!!!! I'm jealous!

Sharon said...

Very cool, I enjoyed it :)

Willard said...


This was actually the peak of the rut and the bulls were very aggressive. In most cases they just threaten or bluff one another, but this time they meant business, but the larger bull (with the collar) had a relatively meek disposition and soon gave way before the onslaught of the other bull who seemed to be a real fighter.

This fight was not nearly as violent as some, and it ended quicker than many.

I have seen bulls contact antlers briefly on many occasions, but only twice have they actually fought.

It is easy to tell a sparring match from a fight as the animals do not run toward each other in a threatening manner or make vicious thrusts with the antlers. They just stand head to head, gently touch antlers and push and twist.

I would like to post more video clips, but they are such a problem with dial-up users as I am well aware, since that was what I had until the end of June.