Saturday, December 13, 2014

Elk Battle

I had another fantastic day out in the wilds of Idaho yesterday.  I met another photographer out at Camas National Wildlife Refuge to see if I could get the pictures I missed on Wednesday when my photo card malfunctioned.  The White-tailed deer did not cooperate by fighting, but other things were better.

As I topped a ridge I saw a herd of bull elk sleeping on an open dried up marsh about a quarter of a mile away.  The only way I could get to them was to crawl on my belly behind a small patch of sagebrush.  Crawling I did, even bumping into some prickly-pear along the way.  But finally I made it.  Most of the 29 bulls in the herd was not large, but were very interesting to watch.  Some would stretch out as if they were dead, probably because their antlers are heavy.
After about a half hour, some began standing up and some even started sparring with their "light sabers."

Then off to the side two bulls got into it with a serious fight. 

The rattling of antlers filled the air as I shot pictures of the epic battle through a sagebrush.

After an hour of watching these beautiful animals, my phone rang - they were up and gone.  On my way back to the truck, I saw 14 whitetails.  I jumped this buck out of some sage.

It stopped to look back at me as it topped a ridge in a pose that said, "ain't I beautiful."

Walking through the tall grass near the truck, I spotted this pheasant sneaking through the weeds.

Just another day for a wild man enjoying the wildness of Idaho.  I will turn my phone off the next time - Monday.


Wilma said...

Some exciting action there, Bill! Glad you didn't have another camera card malfunction.

Monts said...

Brilliant action shots Bill,really worth the crawl. Look forward to the next action.

Bob Bushell said...

Excellent images Bill, shame about your phone.

TexWisGirl said...

just gorgeous!

Barb said...

Bill. Loved that you crawled through the sagebrush for your shots! They are awesome and hard-won! You had such great sightings - your backcountry is gorgeous.

troutbirder said...

Wonderful action shots , Bill. I DO REMEMBER PHEASANTS...we used to have them here...:(

Betsy Adams said...

Oh how wonderful to get to see that... We love seeing the elk when we go to Cataloochee. We hear them bugling ---and have 'almost' witnessed two males fighting over a woman.. BUT--you got a great view and some great photos of them in action. Love it...