Check Out These Amazing Photos of Elk Families From the Comfort of Home
Want to peep a family of Elk in their natural habitat? A five-hour drive will put you in Benezette, Pennsylvania the heart of the appropriately named, Elk County. Now, make your way into their forest home before the sun rises and hope it's really foggy. Sound like fun? Thankfully we have wildlife photographer, William Straite at our disposal and he does the heavy lifting and shares these amazing photos.
William recently made the trip to “The Elk Capital of Pennsylvania.” The area encompasses about 3,000 square miles and is home to nearly 1,400 of the majestic animals. Benezette features several spectacular viewing areas where you can witness Elk in their natural habitat usually during the first two hours of sunrise and the last two hours of sunset. He says the key is arriving in the dark and hoping for a cover of fog. You'll notice the first few photos below show just how foggy it was on the day.
Then as the sky starts to lighten you may be treated to the “howl” of a Bull Elk called bugling, and it’s a sound you won’t forget. Start scanning the fog for dark silhouettes and as the sun rises standing before you will be a herd of Bulls, Cows, and Calves that are feeding and playing right before your very eyes.
While it may look like one group of Elk, William took the photos over a three day period covering about a 20-mile radius around Benezette and features several different herds.
It's currently mid rut season and their winter coats which are approximately 5 times warmer than their summer coats are filling in leaving some of the young looking scraggly.
Look closely and you'll notice several adults and calves are wearing tracking collars. The Pennsylvania Game Commission routinely tracks and monitors their movements and health of the herds.