Friday, October 7, 2011

Elk Viewing in Rocky Mountain National Park

On October 5, we spent the late afternoon and evening with an elk herd in Moraine Park in Rocky Mountain National Park.  The herd consisted of a dominant male and 35 cows and young.  On the far periphery were 7 other big males.  The herd bull was very busy keeping his cows together, checking to see if any were yet in estrus, and fending off the other 7 bulls in the distance.  We spent a total of about three hours observing these interactions and took many photographs.  While there was a large crowd lined up along the road watching like us, they were all very quiet and respectful, and the park staff were extremely pleasant as they made certain people stayed back away from the herd.  It was as fine a wildlife experience as one can get anywhere in the world.  Here is a sampling of the photos we took:
The big bull, bugling to assert his claim on the cow herd,
Keeping the cows together.
Is she receptive yet?
Maybe she'll be more receptive if I don a gorgeous hairpiece.
Back from pushing other bulls away.

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