Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Big Bull Near Ponca Access

Today had the makings of a disappointment. I waited for a river crossing and no elk showed up.  Got some decent pictures of a river lizard, but not much.

Walked back to my car and drove up the valley to the Ponca Access. I go there habitually to check for otter, but there were none. Driving up I noticed 2 elk that appeared to be heading to the river to drink.  I decided to wait for them.

While I waited a half hour, I heard a big elk bugle. He was not visible, but my hunch was he was heading to the river to drink after grazing. He did pop out and I got him at 10:15 AM. This late picture is real unusual especially for a bull in 90 degree weather.

Here is the takeaway point.  I didn't quit at 9AM. I kept grinding. Paying attention to the movement of 2 small elk, and my patience, let me get a picture of a big elk. Yes there was luck in this, but there was also experience, observation, playing the percentages, and most of all just patience.

While I was waiting for the bull, elk watchers came and went seeking immediate gratification.  If they had waited, they would have seen a nice bull in the river. Patience would have made the difference.

Herd Bull at Ponca Access
Herd Bull at the Ponca Access, 2013 Elk Rut

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