|Elk mating season takes place in Jasper National Park during September and October. We were warned when we arrived at Whistler that the bull elk become extremely aggressive protecting their harems during the mating season. These animals are under stress, and a male elk may charge without warning at anyone and anything that gets too close. As we drove back into town we noticed one large male lying close to the side of the road. We pulled the truck up right next to him, but he was not nearly as interested in viewing us as we were in viewing him. However, we did take heed of the warnings and remained in our vehicle!
A bit further down the road, almost into the town of Jasper we noticed a small traffic jam on the bridge. So I of course hopped out of the truck, camera in hand, as Larry parked. There were two cows and a large bull in the river. He was doing this major 'courting thing', bouncing back and forth between the two of them. Typical male?? It was a beautiful thing watching the three of them do 'what comes natural'....
We moved on after 15 minutes or so, hoping to see a different species of wildlife. But, no such luck. Heading back to our campground we spotted another group of elk, this time near the road on our right. Further down a chained off area were about 12 more, males, females and babies too. There was a lot of bugling, or trumpeting, or whatever you want to call it, as each male 'announced' his domain. At one point, two males started running toward each other, heads down, intending to do a BIG headbutt, but at the last moment, the smaller of the two seemed to think better of it! Darn, what a great photo opp I missed...Just kidding, we certainly don't want them to hurt each other just for our viewing pleasure. Perhaps we are easily amused, but you just don't witness this kind of thing in the desert!
So, that's it for today. I hope you are enjoying our journey. We certainly look forward to each and every day's adventures...