Sunday, October 13, 2013

From a PA Blog: Pennsylvania Bull Elk Fight-2013 Rut

Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer is one of my favorite blogs on the internet. On Friday Willard Hill wrote about the 2013 Rut of the Bull Elk. Naturally, because I write a lot about the elk of Elk County in my books, The Whiskey Bottle in the Wall, I appreciate his posts. Here is a sample of his work. Go to to read the rest!

Today's post features a 4min. 18, "Pennsylvania Elk Rut 2013", which is some of the better shots from my recent two week trip to elk country. The clips were taken entirely with the Canon 70D and the Panasonic GH3. The video is based around a dominance fight that I filmed during my first week there. Here is the story of the fight.

It was warm in the afternoon of Wednesday September 18th when I arrived at the Porcupine Run-Winslow Hill viewing area with the thought in mind that even though it was too early and too warm to have much chance of seeing elk that one couldn't see elk if they were indoors. Another factor to consider was that it was good to get an early start and take it easy walking into the back country to a good vantage point and wait for activity to start.

Just before 3:30 pm. I found fellow photographer Charlie Cropp at the upper Gilbert Farm food plot and stopped to talk to him. In short order wildlife artist and photographer David Anderson also stopped by. I told both of them that there was little chance of seeing anything right now as elk are best seen in early morning and late afternoon and filled them in on my strategy for the evening. Shortly thereafter one of them pointed out a few cow elk at the edge of the food plot.I still didn't expect anything noteworthy to happen, but then more and more cows spilled into the field and a bull bugled down over the hill out of sight of the field. At this point we frantically set up cameras and tripods and I began filming as beautiful 6x6 followed the cows into the meadow. At 3:33 a 6x7 wearing a brown radio collar came out of the woods, charged down the hill and locked antlers with the 6x6. In all I filmed 7 minutes and 25 seconds of footage counting from when I started the camera running on the 6x7 running down the hill to fight the 6x6. I paused the camera a few times during the encounter to change some settings, but these pauses were very brief so it is doubtful that the entire encounter lasted 8 minutes. I filmed 5 minutes 18 sec. of actual antler contact, which of course would be a bit longer also, but it is likely there was no more than 6 minutes of contact. At the end the 6x6 broke contact with the collared 6x7 and fled from him.

Go to to read the rest!

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