Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author Marty Essen

Elk on the prairie

Marty’s photo of the day #3760: Stalking elk on the open prairie isn’t easy—especially when accompanied by a very active, medium-sized dog. The elk were at the beginning of their rut, when Deb, Nellie, and I visited the American Prairie Reserve earlier this month. A few times we even heard them bugling. These two bulls were on the far side of a huge field. The three of us approached about halfway to them before Deb stayed back with Nellie, and I continued on. I was one step from being close enough to capture them with the telephoto lens on my camera, when the elk spooked and ran to the top of a hill. I thought they’d continue out of sight, but instead they turned around and looked back at me. They were still a bit beyond the comfortable reach of my lens, but the lighting was nice and the experience even better. I shot a few photos before backing away.

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