Copyright ©2022 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
One of the highlights we had while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park last October were the North American Elk herds. The surprising thing is just how BIG they are. They stand 5 feet tall at the shoulder, and weigh several hundred pounds. The females are half their size. Only the males have antlers which they shed each winter. Their antler can grow up to an inch a day!
One morning while in Estes Park I saw a Bull laying in the shade with his harem and made my over to get some images of them.
The bull …
He had about dozen females (called cows) in his harem. Here he is with some of them just chillin.
Here’s an image of a bull and some of his harem we saw the night before just after the sun went behind the mountains while in Rocky Mountain National Park.
The rutting season begins in October so the bulls were on high alert keeping a close eye on their harems and keeping them close by.
Free roaming elk have a lifespan of 10-13 years in the wild.
We really enjoyed seeing these wonderful animals while we in the park. They really do enrich the visit.
Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 23.1.1
more to come…
59 thoughts on “Whatever Weds. North American Elk”
Wow! They are amazing! I didn’t know they were so big. Such great photos Deborah ❤️
They are beautiful and big! Thank you so much, Jill! 😍
Amongst animals like hippos and giraffes it’s hard to spot who’s the king of the jungle, but your photos of the elks leave no doubt as to who’s the king of the “harem” (what a delightful use of the word!). Size and antlers do matter! 🙂
Thank you for sharing such eye-opening photos!
Yes, they do matter! 😀 Thank you for the entertaining comment!!
What a marvelous sight. You got some great photos. He’s such a handsome guy 🙂
Thank you, Dan! It was pretty neat as they were so comfy in that park in town. We were there at the right time me thinks.
Good that you were ready to capture them in an image.
It was! I already had my camera ready just in case. 😀
People always attribute photos like that to being lucky. The truth is, you were prepared.
You got some excellent images of them. I have not seen them in nation parks but in the wild/national forest and they are indeed magnificent beast! I remember after coming out west and the first time I heard their call, and thinking ” Oh wow , what is that ?’ For your readers who have never heard the Elk I recommend they give it a “google”. It is not a sound you forget.
No, it’s not a sound you forget. It’s kind of haunting and so cool at the same time.
Love this post, Deborah. Thank so much for the visit. I did not know they traveled in a harem. That’s a lot of responsibility for one elk! Did you ever see my post on elk? They were totally serendipitous. Here’s a link to a recent post with some of my favorite pictures of them. https://alwayswrite.blog/2022/01/23/late-night-sunday-stills-wild-eyed-coffee-share-of-one-of-my-memorable-vacations-for-lapc/ Have a great Valentine’s day. I’m sure your elk are enjoying themselves. 🙂
Thank you so much, Marsha! I’ll check out your post on the Elk you saw.
Beautiful photos, Deborah. I saw them when I was in Banff NP.
Thank you so much, Natalie! I bet seeing them in Banff NP was exciting! Just being in that park would be amazing!
We also saw elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, but in 2017. Three months later we saw more in the Canadian Rockies. I take it these animals don’t make it down to your part of Nevada.
I haven’t seen or heard of the here, but one can hope!😀
I share your awe and appreciation for elk, Deborah, and your photos here were a true pleasure. It’s always a thrill to see a male with such an impressive rack.
Thank you so much, Jet! They are impressive aren’t they.
Their antlers are huge!
They are and just imagine how heavy they must be.
They are wonderful creatures for sure … great captures! We have lots of them here and I see a herd or two or three almost every time I go out exploring. Sometimes they come right through our property.
Thank you so much, Denise! It must be something to see these wonderful Elk come right through your property!
Ps – word missing
made my over
made my “way” over?
No worries!! I knew what you meant and I always leave out words when typing. My brain is faster than my fingers and I’m a bad typist. 😀
Enjoyed seeing the photos from your visit to this national park – when we were in Estes park in the 90s we didn’t see elk like you Have shown / so this was cool
I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I wonder if they were still in the high country when you visited? I read they come down in the Fall for the winter and rutting season.
Amazing animals. Those are some huge bulls!
They are aren’t they! Thank you so much, Josh!
I didn’t realize how big they were until a few years ago. Splendid shots of magnificent animals, Deborah. Hugs on the wing!
I’m always surprised by how much bigger than deer they are. Thank you so much for coming by, Teagan! Hugs to you too! 🤗
That’s a lotta bull, Deborah. 🙂 It amazes me how male elk and moose can run through a forest without hitting their horns on the trees!!
😂 That’s funny!!
Once when out in Point Reyes NP looking for the Tule Elk a bull came out the bushes with all kinds of branches and vines hanging all over his antlers and looked so funny. I have a photo of him in my archives and I think I shared it then. He may not have hit any trees but he sure did snag some bling!! 😀
What a magnificent creature!
They are pretty neat aren’t they and so much bigger than the deer that come visit you in your yard.
Really a lot bigger.
Beautiful creatures, and so big! And I gotta say, that bull is one lucky fella! 😉
Thank you, Donna! Isn’t he!! 😀
How interesting Deborah to see these large creatures, reminds me of our large Kangaroos, known as a buck has has a harem of does, and is very protective of them and willing to fight for them as they do. I always have to give them a wide birth when encountering them in the wild. I guess it may be the same for the elk ?
Thank you, Ashley! Here too I give them a wide berth especially during the rutting season.
Thank you for sharing Kangaroo behavior and what they’re called too! It amazes me and boggles my mind that you have seen them in the wild probably more than once!! While I’ve only seen them at the zoo, in photos, and T.V!!
To me they are very majestic looking. There is a wildlife reserve in NE where we were able to drive through, view and photograph them. Lovely images!
That reserve sounds wonderful, Cheryl! I agree with you they are majestic.
These are wonderful, Deborah and a treat to see!
Thank you so much, Belinda! They were a treat to see. 😀
Thank you, John!
Your images of the elk are fantastic! It is thrilling to see them in nature like this. Have you heard the bugling yet?
Thank you so much! Yes, we did hear the one in the last image bugling because another bull was getting to close. He chased it off. 😀
Wonderful shots! I am still anticipating my first glance of the elk that inhabit Vancouver Island. In the meantime, your gorgeous photos remind me of the elk I saw along the roadsides when I visited the Grand Canyon. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Deb! What do they call the Elk up there? Also North American Elk? I’m looking forward to seeing your visit to Vancouver Is. I hope you see the Elk there!
I live on Vancouver Island, Deborah…and the elk here are called Roosevelt elk, apparently. There is a town to the south of me where they wander the streets daily…I hope to visit there soon. I think the residents find them annoying but I would love to see some there!
I had forgotten the name of the Is you live on! Doh!! I hope you get to the Elk where they roam freely. I can imagine being annoyed if they were eating gardens, and being a nuisance, but oh they’re so beautiful and amazing critters.
Wonderful photos. And my award for the most unexpected line of the day is: “Bull Elk with some of his harem.” Never thought I’d be reading those words today. 😊
LOL!! That’s funny, Ally. 😂
Neat shots, and that is some amazing rack on that bull. Wow!
Thank you, Judy! He was a handsome bull with a great rack of antlers!