Here are some other photos from around Bend, a couple more moose at the rut. Elk photos can be taken pretty easily at Rocky Mountain National Park, and at Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. The best time to spot and photograph big buck is during fall rutting (mate-rearing season), which is at the end of September. For additional ideas about finding the moose, see this great web page about finding secret spots that the moose like.
If you can simply spot a few signs of elk, then follow the evidence (sticking to trails in sensitive areas), you can still come home with great photos of elk, and great memories too. Some of our elk photos are posted below, along with tips for finding the herd. If you are interested in seeing an elk herd in the flesh, in person, you will want to read my The 15 Best Elk Watching Destinations In Pennsylvania write-up, since nearly all the photos in the gallery that follows were taken at one of these 15 locations.
In compiling my extensive Elk Country visitor center tour in Benezette (the unofficial Elk Capitol of Pennsylvania), I soon realized I had way more elk photos from my visits over the last decade or so than I could possibly use in a single post.
Click the below photos of the elk and deer to see larger pictures of their impressive racks. Big moose antlers are weapons, and they are best photographed at distance using a big, long lens.
Elks drop antlers once per year as they grow, so that they can swap them for fresh ones later on in life. Bull elks drop antlers each year (usually February/March), and during late spring and early summer, as these antlers grow back, they are covered in velvet, making the antlers look even bigger. As is the case in most species of deer, female elk do not grow antlers. Elks antlers are used to attract females, as well as fight off competing males and predators.
The bull (male) mooses antlers can grow up to four feet over the head, making the animal nine feet tall. Bull elks are distinguished by their impressive, branching antlers, and their high-pitched, bugle-like cry, heard in fall mating season. During rutting season (mating season), bull elk make distinctive, high-pitched, screaming calls.
North American elk are large, deer-like animals found in North American forests. An estimated 10 million elk once roamed the forests and mountains of North America. Elk and red deer were introduced into Argentina in the early 20th century.
Until recently, the red deer and the elk were considered to be one species, Cervus elaphus, with more than a dozen subspecies. Genetic studies conducted in 2004 revealed the elk and the red deer are distinct species. Genetic studies conducted in 2004 found that the elk is actually more closely related to the Thorolds deer (Cervus albirostris) and Sika deer (Cervus nippon) than to the red deer.
Mitochondrial DNA studies conducted in 2004 of hundreds of samples of subspecies of the red and elk and of other species of the Cervus family of deer strongly indicated that elk, or wapiti, must be a species of its own, that is, Cervus canadensis. The scientific name for elk was changed to Cervus canadensis to reflect the findings. For years, the elk was considered to be a subspecies of red deer (Cervus elaphus), found throughout Europe, and also western and central Asia.
Members of the deer family were likely ancestors of modern-day elk. Elk are related to both deer and elk, which are both members of the family of deer known as the Cervidae. Deer and elk The family of deer known as the Cervidae. The elk (cervus canadensis), also known as the wapiti, is one of the largest species in the deer family, the Cervidae, and is among the largest land mammals in its native range of North America, as well as Central Asia and East Asia. The common name of elk used in North America, causes confusion, as even the larger cervidae, called elk, is a member of elk. The elk is the second largest species of deer in the world (only the moose is larger).
Unlike the white-tailed deer and the moose, who are mostly grazers, all elk are like livestock, being mostly grazers. Elk are hunted for meat and fur, and they symbolise Wyoming and Washingtons state animals. Elk and red deer have prolific offspring when kept captive, and both species freely breed together in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand. The interbreeding between the elk and the red deer has led to virtually all pure elk blood being lost in the region.
Elks have significantly larger scats than the droppings of cervids, and are shaped in some ways like acorns. Expect to see elk in open areas, or around treeline in open areas. A shadowy silhouette of a hunter in the foreground, highlighted by an expanse of mountains in the background, for example, can be a dramatic statement on elk country–and on your hunting trip. A photo of an elk in the dirt, for the uninitiated, may make it seem an effortless accomplishment.
Look for signs of a previous elks presence to direct you on a search A track, paw prints on wet soil, ground scratchings, etc. Here are some additional images of elk bulls during the velvet phase-locations are noted in photo captions.