Saturday, July 25, 2009

Camera Critters: Pennsylvania Calf Elk

Summer is a great time for all types of outdoor photography. For those who focus on the big game species, Pennsylvania's Elk herd offers some great opportunities. At this time of year most are interested in the calves, which are exquisitely beautiful with their brown spotted coats, and the bulls, which are growing a velvet covered rack.

Calf On A Beautiful Summer Morning

I was in the elk range from Monday afternoon until late Friday morning of this week. The weather was less than ideal a considerable amount of the time, but the action was outstanding.

A large herd of cows and calves were roaming Winslow Hill. They were often found at the Gilbert Viewing Area. A foreman on the strip-mine reclamation crew said he had seen as high as fifteen calves in the meadow at once.

My best encounter was on Friday morning, when I ran into a portion of this herd. I was able to get eight calves in the frame at once. Things were very hectic for a bit as I was trying to shoot video, along with stills. On two occasions, the calves began milling about rapidly and calling with a loud mewing sound, while the cows responded with a call of their own. What an exciting time!

Eight Calves With Cows

Zoomed In On Seven Calves

Another highlight of the encounter was when a calf nursed from its' mother on a distant ridge. The fog covered mountains in the distant background and the early morning sunlight complemented the subject

This was actually much further than the previous herd shots as they were taken with the 70-200mm, while this was taken with the 500mm and 1.4 extender.

Chow Time

The spots are already starting to fade on some of the animals, and by early September they will be gone in most cases.

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Teena in Toronto said...

That's just too cute :)

I played too :)

Snap said...

I loved them all ... especially chow time! Thanks for taking us with you.

Dianne said...

chow time is such a touching photo
the kind you would see in a nature magazine
definitely deserves a frame

Julie said...

How lovely. Since the ATV have taken over our woods we having seen one deer calf. Would rather see them then hear the 4 wheelers.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Willard: Special captures of the neat elk of your area.

Leedra said...

Really like the elk calf photo.

Carletta said...

Hi Willard,
Great shots as expected from you!
The calf doesn't look anything like I'd expect. This one looks a little cow (calf) like and spotted fawn. Unique look.
Of course I love chow time. I was lucky to see our resident fawn nursing the other evening in my backyard at almost dark. No clear pics but a great moment. :)


Gorgeous shots!

Tulip said...

wow that's a lot of calves. love the the first post too, he looks so sharp and handsome. ",)

Anonymous said...

That nursing calf is just outstanding photography. I noticed the lens used too. It helps when the subjects are large. It is just hard to get this clarity with a sparrow or a gold finch at the same distance. I often think of that Willard, when I find fault with my photos shot at some distance. I think to myself that if it was a cow it would be perfect.
Pick a Peck of Pixels

Regina said...

Beautiful and amazing!

Gretchen said...

You have the best elk photos on the net!

Peggy said...

How lucky are you, to spend so much time with them! Loved that last one feeding! Luckily, you had some serious equipment for the shot.

EG CameraGirl said...

I feel like summer hasn't really begun yet and already young animals are losing their spots. Wow!

Unknown said...

The last shot is a stunning composition Willard. The fact that it is taken with 500+1.4 shows your class. Well shot...Thomas

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