When the Elk Stopped By

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When the Elk Stopped By

Hello everyone! I was working on photos recently and came across these taken the first week of January. It has been so busy that I had completely forgotten this day even happened! It was mid-afternoon and I had hiked out to check on a few groups of horses. Arrowhead and Half Moon were the first bands I came across. I hadn’t been there for more than five minutes when I looked to my right and a group of elk had just appeared out of thin air. They stood there watching the horses and a few glanced over at me. I knew if I moved they would run and likely scare the horses so I stayed as still as possible. They slowly began to walk across the hill as the girls from Half Moon’s band moved closer and stood watching them. For a minute or two, it was a standoff of just staring at one another. A few girls from Arrowhead’s band began to get uncomfortable and started moving away and that caused the elk to move faster. Luckily as they ran by the horses stood and watched rather than turning and bolting. As the elk ran by, I saw a couple of the younger ones kick out and jump as a horse would. I can honestly say that is the first time I have seen elk do that. They moved down the hill we were on and ran to the next in the distance. That is where they stopped and turned back to look at me and the horses. Eventually, they left the area and continued back into the trees. It was quite the experience and not what I expected to be a part of that afternoon. Below are some photos from that day. I will write under each photo so be sure to scroll through. Thanks, everyone!

The herd of elk first appears on the hill and stop when they see the horses. A few of them notice me as well. You can see the one in the front is wearing a collar. These are used by the Park to track the herds.

The elk begin to move past the horses and the girls from Half Moon’s band decide to move for a closer look.

The band lines up and watches which appears to make the elk uncomfortable and they begin to move by at a faster pace.

Here you can see they are now running past Arrowhead and some of his band.

This is where the young one closest to his band begins to jump around.

Now safely on a hill west of where the horses and I were standing, they stop to stare at us for a bit before heading into the trees.