The boys and I started the month off with a good hike. By the time I got off the mountain I had put in almost 7 miles and over 2000 feet of elevation gain. I’m feeling it now but it was worth it. The mountains are full of game right now and some of them were providing some pretty good photo opportunities. It took this cow elk a couple of minutes to figure out that the dogs and I were not supposed to be there. At thirty yards her bark sounded like it was coming out of a fifty gallon drum as she alerted the other elk.
Along the way we photographed a couple of bucks.
They didn’t have the growth of that buck I saw a few days ago but will provide someone some entertainment in about 5 months.
This bull was having fun in a pond. Don’t think he’ll be a monster either, but once again, he might provide someone with some excitement.
There were plenty of elk on the hill and most haven’t calved yet, but I did get to take a few pictures of those that had. This was probably the best picture of baby and mom that I got. This little one had no problem keeping up with mom.
I did accomplish my quest to find a calf and get close to it but before I show those pictures I’ll describe what I found as far as the upland birds go. First off, when the chukars and Huns hatch, it’s going to be almost impossible to find them because of the cover. But I did locate a Hun on an opposite hill and watched it as she showed me where her nest was.
Hopefully she’ll lay another 8 or more eggs before she begins the incubation process. It was amazing how the dogs had gone right through this area without acting like they hit any scent. We also saw 2 pair of chukars and 5 singles. Hopefully it won’t be long before chicks are on the ground. I wasn’t quick enough with the camera, but a couple of the birds were within 30 yards or so. They looked so big and pretty.
Back to my baby elk quest. As the boys were covering ground, I topped a ridge and saw this cow and calf going up the opposite hillside.
As you can see the calf was very small and I guess not more than 24 hours old. It was struggling to keep up with mom, even at a walk. It wasn’t long before the cow saw Grady covering the hill and the next time I saw her she was by herself and heading uphill. I got the boys in close and we sat down by some large rocks waiting for mom to come back. It didn’t take long and she came over the hill looking for us. I was pretty sure she saw us but still walked towards us looking down the draw. At about 50 yards she turned and went back over the hill. But she had given away the general area where the calf was. I let the dogs go and of course Grady was off on the next mountain while Jake and I scoured the area. Soon Jake and found the baby.
This wasn’t his first. He has pointed dozens over the years and has never shown any aggression. Grady, I’m not real sure yet, but he was a couple hundred yards away. I moved around to get another picture and I could tell the calf was ready to jump.
So I walked away from the calf and called Jake to heal. The baby elk didn’t move. About 100 yards away, Grady was reunited with us and we found a good spot to watch and see when mom would return. About 30 minute of sunning ourselves and she came back for her baby.
Everybody being happy we started the long journey back to the rig. The temperature was rising and I can’t remember when the truck seemed so far away but we made it.
Looking forwards to the next trip.