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.