Friday, September 25, 2015

A Non-Typical Bull And A Fight

I have been photographing and filming in Pennsylvania Elk Country this week, but have spent little time on Winslow Hill because of the changes to the Dewey Road and Saddle Area.  I did photograph this large non-typical bull, which many call The U Bull  shortly after dawn on Monday morning on Winslow Hill.

The U Bull
I spent most of the week traveling about and sometimes opportunities were few and far between.  Many mornings are foggy this time of year, which makes photography difficult if it is too thick. One morning there was little fog, but the light was dim and drab. I was watching cows and calves feeding when a fine 8x8 bull arrived and bugled. The light was still dim enough that I had to use an ISO setting of 2000 with the 5D MK III and 100-400mm IS II lens to get sufficient shutter speed to stop motion..

8x8 Bugles
In a few moments a larger bull appeared and challenged him and soon they were locked in combat. I boosted the ISO to 4000 so I could get an even higher shutter-speed of 1/400 sec. to try to stop the action better.

Bulls Fighting
The fight lasted for awhile and the bulls broke contact several times before returning to the struggle.

Bulls Pause From Fighting
After awhile I reached for the Panasonic FZ1000 camera and filmed them in 4K video, but they broke contact soon after I began.  I will try and get this on Vimeo at some point, but it may be awhile.

It seemed that activity was much better in the mornings, although the elk were usually went in the woods soon after sunrise and it seemed that most evenings were very dead as they often did not come into the meadows again until it was too dark for the best photography.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.

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