And So It Begins...


I figured the best place to start was at the beginning. So I will post the images more or less in order they were shot in this battle.

The Elk Rut which begins in late August goes on until sometime in October. The bull elk leave their bachelor groups and begin rubbing the velvet from their antlers. At about the same time the will begin bugling to call in cows and start creating their harems.

Each cow is only in estrus for about 12 hours so it is very important that bulls keep their harems close together. This serves two main purposes. First is so the bull can continuously check the status of the cows. Secondly he wants them to be close so he can keep an eye on them and fend off any would be suitors trying to steal cows away.

The bulls do not want to battle if they can avoid it. It takes a lot of energy and while they are engaged with one bull others may come in and steal away cows.

There is a lot of posturing, false charges and bugling that go on when another bull begins to move in. In today's image the bulls are doing the parallel walk.

I am not sure what significance this walk has but it seems to be a part of the ritual as well as for several other rutting ungulates that I have seen.

I chose this image because I wanted to show this lead up behavior as well as show the nearly equal size proportions of the two bulls. And because it really shows of their beautiful racks!

Chuck commented yesterday on what it would be like to hear these elk in battle. Here is a clip of some bugling and fighting from the Nature Guy Studios website. Tomorrow I'll post a quick video of a similar but much shorter battle to this one.

Oh, one quick question, when you guys click on the image to see a larger version does a window pop up asking you to open or save the image? If it does (because it does on my end) does anyone know why? or how to make it go back to the way it used to do it? I can't figure it out but I know I don't like it. Thanks...


Bradley Myers said...

Brian, the problem is not yours it is bloggers. I thought I screwed up the pc and just tried the lap top with the same problem and decided to investigate. It turns out others are complaining also. I hope it is fixed soon. I guess I am on my own again this tour. Send BGC over he can ride with me.

Brian Bastinelli said...

Thanks Brad I have been going nuts trying to figure this out.

At least we are all in it together.

I really don't like it at all I hope they switch back.

I will call the BGC and get him on the way.

Bradley Myers said...

When I checked last night Brian they said they were working on it, they also said they had a fix but everyone claimed it did not work for them. I found it in the forum pages for blogger, 19 post on it at that time. I see it is still not fixed. I would think people will hit cancel and not look at a larger photograph the way it is.