Tuesday, September 26
After the large bull elk sighting, (previous post) we drove over several back-country roads and saw a variety of elk grazing in yards and fields before going to the Visitors Center.
Marlin, Chelsey, and Nancy walking toward the viewing area at the Visitors Center.
We knew there was going to be some action because we heard the bugling of at least one bull elk.
To our delight a bull elk was gathering a harem of ladies.
I expect there were something between 100 and 200 people watching the elk in this large field.
We noticed a whitetail deer on the edge of the woods.
It looks like the bull (left) is going after another lady for his harem.
He found one.
By this point he had about a dozen ladies.
Then it got a bit more interesting when two large bull elk came out of the woods.
The original bull tried to chase them away but they kept returning.
When the other males arrived the herd became restless.
A few more bulls came out of the woods and we heard people around us saying they couldn’t tell if there were 7 or 8 male elk because of all the moving animals.
By this time it was quite noisy with all the bugling.
It appeared that the original elk had lost his control of the herd with the arrival of the other bulls.
After the herd had been milling about awhile – and the bulls did not engage in fighting, we moved on toward our vehicle.
I noticed five cows at another viewing area and moved there to get some closer shots.
Shortly after I arrived, many others joined me and we soon heard the bugling of another male coming in from the left.
He seem rather pleased to have a harem of five and bugled to the guys in the other field.
The ladies pretty much ignored him.
After a few minutes we moved on to our vehicle to look for elk in another area.
We didn’t have to drive far to spot another one.
We also had another good sighting of a deer.
We were quickly loosing light, but knew there had been an elk sighting when there was a traffic jam like this.
This bull (in the distance) had gathered a harem of close to a dozen.
However, there was another one coming to challenge him.
We saw several more after this but it was getting too dark to get good pictures. My sister, Nancy, was recording our sightings and came up with a count of 70 cows and 15 bulls. We teased Marlin, “…and you worried that it may not be a good evening for elk viewing.” 🙂
Pennsylvania’s elk heard covers an area of 3,000 miles, but the largest herd is in Elk County. There are estimates of about 900 in Pennsylvania at this date.
It was a delightful and fun evening. Thanks, Marlin and Nancy for taking us along.