Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bulls, Birds, And Calves

The primary focus of my annual mid-June trip to Pennsylvania Elk Country is to photograph the elk calves, but they were extremely skittish as I noted in the last post.  I got the only decent calf photo of the trip on Friday morning.  As is so often the case it was extremely foggy and I was cruising the hill waiting for it to lift a bit when I saw a small group of cows with one calf  about 25 yards from the road.  I parked well off of the roadway.  Since the grass was tall I made no effort to set the tripod up, but instead stood on the door sill of the SUV, rested the 5D MKIII with 300mm f2.8 lens over the top of the vehicle and fired several frames.  It is good that I did not try to get the tripod as the elk stood there less than a minute before running away.

Foggy Morning Calf
When one is looking for calves it is also common to see different species of grassland birds.  I have seen Bobolinks for years, but always took video before and never got an acceptable still photograph of one until Wednesday morning when I photographed one with the Canon 70D and the 600mm F 4.0 lens.

It was a bit more difficult to see bulls, but a young bull was seen most mornings and evenings feeding or resting along the edge of the food plot near the log cabin on the hill at the Porcupine Run/Winslow Hill Viewing Area.  In this case I took video for some time with the Panasonic GH4 and 100-300mm Lumix lens before switching it to still mode and firing a few still frames.

Young Bull With Cows

I actually found quite a few bulls and some were of respectable size for young animals, but none were had the potential to grow truly exceptional racks this year.  The 5x5 shown below was one of the largest seen on this trip. He was traveling with a bachelor group of three bulls and was the largest of that particular group.

5x5 Bull Peers At Camera
Some would call this a large 5x5 while other veteran elk photographers would chuckle and comment that large and 5x5 are not compatible words.  Whatever the case there seems to be quite a few bulls of this size class out there this year and I plan to post some more photos of them in the near future.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


Unknown said...

Great shots Willard. I especially like the Bobolink and the "Bull Stare Down". Good to see you again and hope we can catch up this September.

Dale said...

Looks like he is asking. "You again?

Ruth Hiebert said...

Great pictures.The Bobolink is my favourite in this set.

Willard said...

Yep, he's sayin' "oh no he's back this year".