Wednesday, February 4, 2015

January Elk



The elk rut is long over by January, but it’s still worth spending time in Pennsylvania’s elk range. The bulls haven’t dropped their antlers and are just as impressive as they were last fall plus there are fewer tourists in the area.

As they do throughout the year, the elk tend to feed early in the morning then rest and chew their cuds through the middle of the day and feed again toward evening.

On this day the members of large band of cows and calves were resting in an abandoned field –
Since there were only a few inches of snow on the ground the elk were having a relatively easy time finding something to eat in the food plots maintained by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Elsewhere cows and calves fed on the tops of recently felled trees-

Along a stream I found several adult bulls –

The bulls interrupted their feeding to spar with each other –

And then went back to browsing on woody vegetation –

10 comments:

The Furry Gnome said...

I still don't think of Pennsylvania as a place to find Elk!

Woody Meristem said...

Elk were here before the arrival of European settlers, but apparently by 1880 had been eliminated. They were reintroduced in the early 20th Century; in the 1970s there were fewer than 50, but we now apparently have between 800 and 1,000.

Camera Trap Codger said...

Well done. You obviously had a productive outing. That sparring match is excellent video, but it would be washout without the sound. Were the bulls squealing as they sparred? Or was that from the herd? I've only heard occasional grunting during sparring matches.

Camera Trap Codger said...

PS I should add that I have NOT seen elk sparring -- only other species of deer.

Woody Meristem said...

The mewing and mini-bugles were from the two bulls that were sparring. There were several smaller bulls in the general vicinity, but they weren't making any sounds. I couldn't tell which bull, or whether it was both, that was making the sounds -- couldn't see any movement of their mouths or throats. Apparently those sounds aren't uncommon when bulls are sparring, but this was the first time I've been close enough to hear anything other than the clash of antlers.

eileeninmd said...

Cool shots of the elk.. The video of the sparring elks is awesome...I hope to visit the PA elks some day.. Thanks so much for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Stacy @ Sweethearts + Sweet Tarts said...

The scenery is so beautiful and the elks are amazing. We have a few wildlife preserves where the kids and I can see the elk and we love it every time we visit.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Great shots of these beautiful critters!

Louisette said...

Wonderfull elks fotos, amazing, greeting from Belgium

Marie said...

Love elk! You got some great photos, and I really enjoyed the video!