Thursday, November 7, 2019

Another Day in Elk Country

A brilliant red sunset the night before promised a beautiful day, as did the weather forecast, so I was on the road before dawn on the way to Pennsylvania’s elk range. Fog developed as the sun rose; but this time the fog wasn’t in the stream valleys, it was high on the top of the plateau.

As I traveled along Bennetts Branch a young bull elk came into view along the road.

After driving into the fog on high, what was there but the non-typical bull that I’d photographed earlier in the fall (see this post for a better photograph) along with a young bull also with non-typical antlers –

Up on top, in a field maintained as a food plot there were more elk, several cows and the impressive bull that was accompanying them wherever they went –

Several photographers, yours truly included, waited and waited for the fog to dissipate – it did after what seemed a long, long time. By that time the bull, probably exhausted from the exertions of the rut, lay down and a cow nursed her growing calf –

But the bull wasn’t too exhausted to bugle once again –

As the fog lifted even more he walked over to an area of goldenrod, raked the ground with his antlers and, suitably decorated, headed for the nearest patch of forest to spend the day –

The sun rose higher, all the elk disappeared into the forest, and I headed south to the Quehanna Wild Area to search for elk sign in open wetlands and food plots in that more remote area.  

Along the way it was pretty obvious that the fall colors were at or near their peak –

Some of the Quehanna wetlands contain an abundance of sphagnum moss and the sedge called cotton grass –

With sunset approaching it was time to head back to the old farms on Winslow Hill. There, a fellow photographer had located a bull elk bedded in a patch of goldenrod within a sparse woodland. All that could be seen of him were his antlers – can you find him?

Here he is –

After a patience-trying wait the bull rose, walked into the adjacent field and began feeding –

After a while he, like the bull in the morning, lay down in the field –
Then, with fading light, it was time to head for home. Almost a half hour later, in an old field with a fencerow of tall shrubs partially blocking the view from the road, was the last elk of the day, another non-typical bull –

Almost home and a harvest moon rose above the trees –


Barbara Rogers said...

A most enjoyable day of hunting elk with a camera....thanks so much for sharing!

Peter Abdu said...

Wow plenty of big bulls around, what a beautiful part of the world you live in.

eileeninmd said...

The Elk are beautiful. Great post. Sorry, I am late visiting your post. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your critters. I hope you have a happy day and weekend ahead.

Lady Fi said...

Wow - absolutely amazing!

eileeninmd said...

Enjoy your day, have a great weekend. PS, thanks so much for the visit and comment.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What awesome big animals! I love the photos of the fog but of course they are all worth waiting for! Enjoy your weekend! You still have such beautiful color. Hope the weather is good!