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White Mountains Elk II, AZ
mini location map2018-09-15
5 by photographer avatarssk44
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White Mountains Elk II, AZ 
White Mountains Elk II, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 15 2018
ssk44
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Part two of my 2018 elk efforts. Saturday evening was nearly a bust until right at the end. The big herd of cows with a mature bull that I had hoped for didn't happen but the consolation prize was amazing. A young 5x5 all by himself sneaked in from behind me through the timber. Luckily I saw him before he saw me. The wind was perfect so he was never able to smell me. He passed me within about 100 yards and slowly entered the meadow. I spent nearly 45 minutes with this bull. The young adolescent bulls are always ostracized to obscurity during the rut. They just keep to themselves and try to stay out of trouble. They won't go near the cows. They know better. The large herd bulls will run them off. This guy will likely be competing for supremacy in two years. Ha.. He might try next year but he'll pay a high price for that mistake. It's a painful lesson.

This is to date my most amazing wildlife photography experience. It was deathly quiet and still. The backdrop was perfection. So special. He was never more than 150 yards away. At the end he was within 25 yards. He was actually too close for photos. I finally called out to him. That was so funny. His reaction was classic. He was suspicious of me a few times but could never fully make me out. I always tried to move when he would turn away. He totally stared me down at least twice but eventually continued to feed. You have to completely freeze when that happens. It seems like an eternity. Whatever position you're in is what you must hold until he turns away. I don't even want to breath. He just about jumped out of his skin when I called out to him. He ran about 50 yards and proceeded to trot back and forth while barking at me. The bark call is an alert to others nearby or for just voicing disapproval. In this case he was just complaining. He watched me pack up and eventually took off around the corner. So cool. Hunting with a camera is far more rewarding than hunting with a gun. I sold my rifle years ago.


Eric
:D
Fauna
Fauna
Elk
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
I little more than last weekend but still a looong ways to go.
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ISAIAH 6:2-3 / MATTHEW 11:28-30
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