It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to drive to Pennsylvania’s elk range to get some photographs of elk during the rut. It was a quick decision since I’d originally planned to go later in the week. But the weather forecast wasn’t too favorable for either elk activity or yours truly.
It had been too darn hot for early fall so it wasn’t too surprising that there were no elk to be seen in the afternoon. They spend the heat of the day in the shade of the forest, especially in woodland along the streams draining the higher open ground where they feed.
We were on “The Saddle”, part of a reclaimed strip mine, an area where I’ve gotten many of my best photographs of elk. There’s an old road on the flank of the hill that gives a good view of a small basin and the woodland below.
As the shadows lengthened and the temperature began to drop a few elk began to emerge from the forest, cows and calves came first –
The bull that had assembled this small band of cows and calves soon followed –
The bull bore asymmetrical antlers that are often called non-typical, but they were impressive nonetheless. He began to slowly feed, presenting a good opportunity to take some video –
This bull is habituated to human visitors because he spends time on Winslow Hill, the heart of Pennsylvania’s elk tourism. I wasn’t alone on the old road on The Saddle; there were other photographers there also –
The photographic opportunities were good on The Saddle, but I prefer a more remote spot – that’s where I plan to be the next time I go to elk country.