Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pennsylvania Bull Elk Shed Antlers

Elk Grazing On Site of The Gilbert Farmhouse At Sundown ( House was burned in 2010)
 Some of the larger bulls shed their antlers in late February and this continues into April with the smaller bulls generally shedding last.  It is common to see mature bulls growing new antlers, while smaller bulls still have last years antler growth.  I was in Pennsylvania Elk Country from mid-afternoon on Monday until mid-morning on Thursday with the goal of filming and photographing as much of this activity as possible.

At first it seemed as though that aspect of the trip was doomed to failure as cows, calves, and spike bulls were everywhere, but the rack bulls were impossible to find.  This changed on Wednesday evening when I found a mature bull near Devils Elbow that had already shed and was growing new antlers. I stood at the edge of the roadway and photographed him with the 500mm lens  as he stood in the woods near the edge of a camp lawn.

Mature Bull Growing Antlers
A bit later I found two raghorns that still had their antlers near Elkview Diner, and an older bull was with them that had already shed and was just beginning to grow new antlers.  Again, the 500mm F4 was the lens of choice, but the range was much further in this case.

Raghorns Near Elkview Diner

Growing New Antlers
The final morning of the trip was to prove eventful as well, but that is a story for another time.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.