Wednesday, December 5, 2012

ON THE ELK RANGE

I counted 6 bulls, 9 calves and 24 cows this morning.  


Eastern Blue Bird
I got to the elk viewing area before sun up.  I'm an early bird - no reference to the little guy above.  I encountered no elk on the path to the viewing tower.  As the sun came up I noticed only one elk on the meadow - old one horn as I call him.
He was out there all by himself.  Then, I heard an elk bugling off to the right in the forest.  Old one horn took notice too and waked over to a little hillside and stared across the adjoining meadow at the forest beyond.
I can only guess that the elk doing all the bugling is the dominant male and all the others listen when he speaks.

One horn stared and stared for twenty minutes without moving.  The bugling halted and he slowly made his way to the end of the meadow, still alone.  I watched him through the glasses.  Then, as if by magic, a line of elk bulls appeared on the right side of the meadow clear in the rear.  They must have moved in unison to appear like they did.

They acted as though they were royalty standing there looking regal and in charge.
 The bull in the center above bugled once, loudly.




The herd came to the meadow at once in response to the call of that big male.


They seemed to pour out onto the open field.  I guess he's the boss elk.  But then, the bugling started again off to the right and not quite so far away as when I first heard it.  All heads instantly turned in that direction.
The big bull moved along the back of the field along the wooded area acting disturbed.






Could there be a larger bull than even him out there?  The bugling continued.

I thought sure I'd get to see the bugling elk but the sounds were not moving toward the meadow.   He was staying back.  He certainly got the attention of all on the meadow.  Even the big elk at the back of the field walked off and disappeared.  I didn't see if he went toward the bugling or away.  I bet he went toward it

 I just put something together  after I posted this blog entry.  I bet the bugling elk is the one I photographed last week.  Where's my head.  It's called old age.  


 They sure are paying close attention to all that bugling noise down in the woods.  I wonder how they interpret the message that's being sent.

















The little guys above flocked in and settled in the bushes surrounding the viewing tower.  There were about 25 to 40 of them.  They left in a rush as fast as they appeared.  An hour later a second wave of them appeared and shortly moved on.  This is an interesting place.


I call the above shot "Illusion."
I tried to get the bugling on the audio setting on the Canon 990.  Below:  Here is what all the elk were paying so much attention too.  Listen carefully for the high pitched call in the distance.

That's it for today.  Back to the lake tomorrow.  See ya then.