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Old 09-02-2016, 08:50 AM   #1
Torchsport
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Rocky Mountain elk fight

So this happened just outside of our rental car last night.

Short and sweet video. I wanted to move on so others behind us could get pics and video.

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Old 09-03-2016, 07:21 AM   #2
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That might be one thing I miss about Colorado, is the rut in RMNP. We used to take a picnic up and tailgate down in Beaver Meadows and just watch. I remember one time having a herd of females come thundering over a hill with two males just running and slamming into each other while bugling the whole time.

Hope you are having a good time there!
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Old 09-03-2016, 02:43 PM   #3
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Cool video, safe travels Brad and have fun.
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Old 09-03-2016, 03:05 PM   #4
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Fun soundtrack for their little contest.
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Old 09-03-2016, 03:19 PM   #5
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Cool.
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:39 PM   #6
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We saw hundreds of elk over the 4 days we were in the park. It was great for my gf to see as she had never been to Co.
We also saw several elk right in the town of Estes Park where we stayed.

Went thru your old town of Broomfield yesterday Tina, on the way to visit my cousin in Brighton.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:04 PM   #7
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:26 PM   #8
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:37 PM   #9
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Looks like they are "tuning up" for the real fight when the rut begins...................

I find animal behavior very interesting. I can only imagine if we had such competition to find our mates. Fisticuffs at dawn?
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:01 AM   #10
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Ya, they were youngins and just playin.

Awesome sight nonetheless.

Not to steal your thunder, but a couple weeks ago fellow member and GF tmylyn and I were kayakin Fallen Leaf Lake near Lake Tahoe. We were just cruisin the shoreline and meet 1 one the locals who was looking for lunch. We just stopped paddling and drifted. When he walked out on the log, he got about 8' from Tammy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fs38KuBCuM
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:19 AM   #11
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I started bird watching a couple of years ago, and I nature watch everything along the way. Mountain lakes, foxes, moose, elk, if it will sit long enough I'll take its picture.

In two weeks we're going to Yellowstone, after the major season and before the real weather comes in. I'm hoping in the cooler temps and off people season we might see some things we don't normally see.

I have to admit being on the east side of the Big Horns by bear fear is low, but we usually are plunging head first into a trail in the middle of nowhere, and I really should get serious about protection. We already carry all kinds of emergency gear, MREs, emergency sleeping bags, water filtration, entrenching tool because we often drive into back country, but I'm shopping on Amazon now for some blaze orange and bear spray.

I'm on a facebook page called Wyoming Beauty, and I just read this account. It's long, but it's well told and a good bit of advice.

http://www.timdoolinphotography.com/

Today’s image is a repost from last year, but it was purposefully chosen to go along with my experience over the weekend. Read the account below for the rest of the story!!!

I teasingly tell all of my students at the beginning of each year that I’m an elkaholic. There’s probably even some truth to the statement as my favorite time of the year involves archery hunting elk in September. Unfortunately, over the years it has become more and more difficult to draw tags in the Bighorns, so when unsuccessful with both my first and second choices in this year’s drawing, I was left with the miserable option of attempting to hunt unit 37 the last 2 weeks of September, or looking elsewhere in the state. Once the leftover tags were released, I poured over my options and settled on units 67-69 near Dubois and then spent 4 days in the area during early August scouting some potential spots. While I never saw any bears while scouting, muddy paw prints and large piles of scat warned of their lurking presence.

Scouting complete, plans set, and packing done, I left for Dubois immediately after school on Friday, September 2nd. Saturday morning just at dawn, first light (I waited until I could see to walk just because of the bears) found me stealthily slipping through the timber in search of one of the 5 bull elk loudly serenading the morning. I headed after the closest of the bulls only to be surprised by a rather spooky encounter.

As I tip-toed down a major game trail, I heard a crash to my left and looked over just in time to see two black legs through the deadfall. I immediately knew it was a bear, but with no other context besides two black legs, I immediately thought it was a black bear. I still unholstered my bear spray and stopped and waited. Moments later, at somewhere between 35 and 40 yards, a large, boar grizzly emerged from the other side of the deadfall headed directly towards me on the same trail. Time slowed down.

I have bear identification certification from both the states of Wyoming and Montana and I’ve spent considerable time training with Wyoming Game and Fish personnel over the years to the point that I’ve actually trained quite a number of youths in proper bear safety. Additionally, I have extensive experience camping, hiking, and backpacking in grizzly country. In fact, I’ve spent many nights in tents in the heart of some of Wyoming’s most bear-dense landscapes. Few times have I ever had close encounters and all of my previous encounters resolved naturally without even so much as a second thought.

Interestingly, all of that experience rushed into play as I stood alone facing a large boar grizzly with nothing more than my bow and 3 cans of bear spray (1 remained holstered and the 3rd resided in the depths of my pack) and I felt amazing calm. Despite the adrenaline coursing through my body, I could hear the training in a well-rehearsed script: Make yourself as large as possible, talk loudly in a strong and calm voice, do not make eye-contact, minimize your appearance as a threat, if needed, spray when bear is within 30 feet (preferably 20 or less) and aim low so spray rolls across ground and right up into its nostrils.

As the boar walked purposefully toward me, I raised my bow over my head, and, while waving it back and forth, began forcefully proclaiming, “Hey bear. Hey bear. I’m right here. Hey bear,” all while picking a red line that if he crossed, I would be forced to deploy my spray. At my first movement and vocalizations, he stopped and stood up on his hind legs, standing easily 7+’ tall, an amazing specimen of golden power as muscles rippled beneath his skin. He surveyed me for a moment as I continued waving my bow and repeating my, “Hey bears,” before he dropped to all fours and nearly instantly closed the distance to 20 yards. He did so quickly and effortlessly, and all I had the time to think was, “This is really happening!”

At 20 yards, he stood once again on his hind legs. As a photographer, I’ll admit, I had some of those crazy thoughts where I wished I had my camera instead of my bow or even the spray. He was stunningly beautiful standing in a small patch of sunlight filtering through the forest canopy. What an image I have etched into my memory! He dropped to all fours once again and made no movement, studying me intently as I continued talking and waving. He then lifted his front right paw, making one more forward movement. He wanted to come my direction. He wanted to use the same trail upon which I stood and I was an inconvenience to his plans. I could see the indecision and reluctance to change course in his body language, but I had nowhere to go. I had no plausible retreat as I had just stepped over some downfall and could never navigate it going backwards, so I just stood my ground.

Finally, he turned, and while looking over his shoulder watching me, he headed away from me on the same trail, stopping once again about 45 yards away to stand and look. He dropped to all fours and turned right, disappearing into the timber. I watched for at least 5 minutes to be sure he was gone, listening to the same bull elk bugle repeatedly from less than 120 yards away, completely unfazed by my interaction with the bear. It was during that 5 minutes that my right leg beat a nervous rhythm as the adrenaline wore off and the reality of such a close call set in. Little did I know that the morning was far from over.

I played with that bull for the next 20 minutes, pulling off a perfect stalk and closing the distance to just 30 yards. I could hear him coming through the timber and was so close I could hear him breathing. All the parts seemed to be coming together. I had a clear shooting lane, the wind was in my favor, and the bull’s line of travel would take him by my position at less than 30 yards. Suddenly he was gone. With no sound at all, that bull simply disappeared. I am convinced that that grizzly ruined the stalk as I have no other explanation for what happened. As I pondered the turn of events, ever vigilant to where the grizz might be, another bull bugled up the hill above me. Game on.

Intent upon a new prey, I quickly headed uphill. The bull responded each time I bugled, but I did so sparingly so as not to allow him to pinpoint my position. I wanted to be the pursuer, to surprise him in his own living room. Game trails crisscrossed the hillside and I found a large thoroughfare and worked to quickly close the gap between myself and the bull. I’m guessing I was now 300 yards from where I left the last bull when I heard a crash to my right. Praise the Lord for that crash. I’m still thanking Him for that warning and intervention, because as I instantly stopped and looked to my right through a thick clump of brush, I found myself looking once again at the distinct dish-faced outline of a grizzly bear just 20 yards away. I fumbled with my bear spray and managed to get it out, all while watching intently, wondering if this was somehow the same bear, grateful that the light breeze blew steadily from the bear to me. The bear looked into the distance chewing something as I watched and pondered my next move. Suddenly, much to my horror, a smaller head popped up right next to its mother’s front right shoulder and I stepped into my worst nightmare. I was 20 yards from a sow grizzly with at least 1 cub. Now I was in real trouble.

Did I dare move? I certainly couldn’t just stand there as one small stray breeze would carry my scent to her in a moment. Could I slip away unnoticed? Did she have multiple cubs. Would I make it 5 yards before she was on me? I’ve watched videos where sow grizz have confronted perceived threats even when over 100 yards away from their cubs and done so while running 35+ mph. Here I was just 20 yards away.

I consider it fortunate that where I stopped was a pretty steep sidehill. Therefore, while I could see her clearly because she was at my eye level, the only real portion of me that she might have been able to see was my head. I made my decision and slowly bent at the knees, sinking lower and lower until I could no longer see her. Then, in a crouched position, I tiptoed down the hill until I felt comfortable enough to hastily beat a retreat in the opposite direction. Shaken, dismayed, unscathed, grateful, frustrated, demoralized, wondering the wisdom of staying, I spent the next 10 minutes pondering packing up and driving home. Less than 45 minutes into my hunt and I had already encountered 3 grizzlies in very close and dangerous situations. This was NOT fun.

I walked nearly a mile with one hand holding my bow and the other my can of spray with the safety off, slowly allowing my nerves to settle. I would stay. I was there to hunt. I was there to pursue my passion. I was an elkaholic!
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:34 PM   #12
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Well written and intelligent. Thank you.
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