October 9, 2015 Grand Teton National Park

Bull Elk and Harem
Bull Elk and Harem

Patience and Perseverance Finally Pay Off

Today being the day that the Gros Ventre Campground closes for the season, I figured to give my thus far unsuccessful elk hunt one last chance before leaving Grand Teton National Park. So, at first light, I was off, once again, for Cottonwood Creek Road.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Elk Herd
Elk Herd
Elk Herd
Elk Herd

Slowly crawling in through the puddles and rocks about a mile or so, I spotted a large herd of elk the better part of a mile away … after seven trips in here, success at last!

Too far off to shoot from the road, I grabbed the tripod and long lens and started hiking through the sage brush towards the herd.

Bull Elk and Cows
Keeping His Distance

I am guessing that there were probably fifty to sixty cows being herded by one very impressive bull, with another equally impressive male hanging around the perimeter awaiting his chance to steal a few cows.

Bull Elk
Dominant Bull

This guy seemed to be in charge …

Bull Elk
Second Fiddle

… and kept this impressive looking character on the sidelines.

Please forgive the less than perfect images, they were shot in the very early morning light at some pretty great distances as I pursued this herd.

Bull Elk and Cows
Bull Elk and Cows
Bull Elk and Cows
Bull Elk and Cows

A most impressive rack of antlers!

Bull Elk Escorting His Harem
Bull Elk Escorting His Harem
Bull Elk and Harem
Bull Elk and Harem

Out in the sagebrush, about half a mile from my parked car, I had closed the distance to the herd to a manageable space, when the bull started driving the herd in my direction.

Bull Elk Escorting His Harem
Lots of Competition
Bull Elk
Rivals

Obviously aware of my presence, he pushed them out and around my position at a pretty fast pace, heading north across the road I had just come in on.

Bull Elk Escorting His Harem
Crossing Cottonwood Creek Road
Elk Herd
Elk Herd

Once across the dirt road, off they went, at a gallop, taking only a minute or two to get out of range of the camera. And that was that! Success at last. Got my elk, got my moose, and really enjoyed the incredible scenery here in Grand Teton National Park.

Broke camp and was on the road by noon. Really enjoyed my stay at Gros Ventre Campground and hate to see it come to an end, but I really need to get heading south, there are birds waiting for me down along the Rio Grande in Texas.

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