Saturday, September 17, 2011

Peak Of Pennsylvania Elk Rut Nears

Each year the woods and meadows of Pennsylvania Elk Country resound with the mighty bugle of the bull elk or wapiti as the Indians called him.  This is the time that most serious elk enthusiasts journey to Pennsylvania's northwoods to take in the sights and sounds of the rut.  The rut actually begins in late August or early September, but the tempo usually picks up considerably by mid-September and peaks around the last week of the month, with activity usually declining rapidly in early October.

With this in mind I am posting a 2minute 57 sec. video clip, which shows the highlights of the 2010 rut, although the video actually starts with two dramatic clips of elk taken during the last few days of October.  The next few scenes show clips of the famous character bull "Crazy Legs, Jr." which was killed in elk season last year.  Clips of him are interspersed with two different takes of a large collared bull, which was seen frequently at the Gilbert Viewing Area.  The number on the collar was damaged too severely to read and I have no idea what number this bull was, but it was one of the largest seen on Winslow Hill. The somewhat smaller collared bull shown is 8A.  Also included are several clips of smaller bulls, and a large bull that many referred to as having a drop tine.  The video ends with a short, violent clash of antlers between two bulls shortly after dawn on the last morning of the 2010 trip.

This brief fight was taken  with the Canon 7D and a 300mm F4 lens.  It was still so dark that I had to use ISO 2000 and the video is not good quality--at least on a large screen HDTV, but is included here because it is dramatic.  All too often some of the best action occurs either too early or too late for best photo or video quality.

The video is a good sample of what one can see if they put in the time in the elk range.  I hope to see you in Pennsylvania Elk Country this fall.

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


Anonymous said...

I just mentioned to my husband that if we got up really early tomorrow morning and drove to Benezette that we might be able to take in the sights and sounds of the rut. Maybe next year; he didn't sound interested this year. Looking forward to seeing your pictures / videos from this year's rut!

Bob Shank said...

Willard, now I am super excited! Your video looks great! I can't wait to show my son who won't be able to join us at the end of the month due to school being in session. Great job on the music, too!

Anonymous said...

Nice video, Willard.

Heather said...

Hello again Willard! Well, a lot has happened since the last time we really spoke. I am now divorced unfortunately and working tons but was just reading up on some elk news and came across this Elk Country Alliance and was wondering if you could explain what the deal is to me. My new e-mail is (careful with the spelling, no "a" in heather!) I look forward to catching up!

Kekiinani said...

Aloha Willard.. WOW what a video. I had no idea that the Elk can make that odd screeching almost eerie sound.. It was a very interesting video.. As you can guess no elk here. LOL Hope all is going well. Guess you like your 7D? Take care
Aloha, Renee :)