Sunday, July 2, 2017

Pennsylvania Elk Calves In Late June

Elk Calf  In The Rays of The Early Morning Sun
Most elk calves are born in the period from mid-May through mid-June with a few being born later. I seldom go to Pennsylvania Elk Country during the peak of the birthing period because I concentrate on whitetail fawn photography at this time, and go to elk country only after most of the fawns are born.

This year was no exception, and I didn't get there until June 19th through the 23rd.. I saw plenty of calves, but they were mostly too far for good still photography or they were in situations where it was difficult or impossible to get the camera in action.
Cow and Calf Cross Road At Woodring Viewing Area
This is mostly because the elk are very protective of the newborn calves when they are most vulnerable within the first weeks of life. Also the annual calf capture and tagging program to gather biological data is  still underway or just finished recently so the elk  may be expecting to be pursued when they see humans, which contributes to their skittishness.

Alert Cow Looks For Danger
It didn't help the calf photography either that I mostly concentrated on taking video and  spent a lot of the time in areas where one was more likely to see bachelor groups of bulls. Nonetheless,I did spend most mornings looking for  calves and it paid off on Thursday morning  when I found a nursery group and they gradually drifted my way and came close enough for good still photography.

Cow Nurses Calf
Cow And Calf Nuzzle

Cow And Calf In Early Morning Sun
As regular readers are well aware, I have not posted since October 23, 2016. When I made that post I expected to continue full-bore, but then days turned into weeks and weeks into months and it was very difficult to begin posting again.

I am not sure if I will continue to post regularly, but I do hope to make another post in the near future about the bulls I filmed and photographed during the trip and perhaps make a short video. This post is dedicated to Ron and Gail Thoma for encouraging me to continue.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.