Below] are a number of photographs from the elk herds in Northern Humboldt county this fall of 2021. A whole of 40 pictures may be seen at
The elk herd was standing in water at Stone Lagoon. The main bull drove his herd into the lagoon. Stored them there for well over 2 hours while other bulls circled the herd. He had completed the identical thing the morning before, maybe to provide himself a break from the other bulls. Perhaps to better management his cows from wandering off while the opposite bulls were pressuring him. It was a little scorching however they did not swim or roll round. The cows didn’t appear to be having fun with the water. In actual fact they looked confused. The second day he stood in one spot for a very long time in the center of the herd and I assumed he is perhaps tired.
The lagoon images are taken with a 600mm lens from 1/4 to 1/three of a mile away measured on google earth on a considerably hazy day.
Eventually, among the older bulls drove among the younger away after which the principle bull postured and stared down the remainder. When most other bulls had backed off the principle bull drove his herd again onto strong floor. By this level the cows. Calves must have been hungry. Within the shut-ups you can see the older cows surrounding the calves, giving them some safety in case a fight broke out.
Herds aren’t static even within the same yearly rut. The herd at this location can cut up into four or 5 sub-herds each with it’s personal bull when comparatively sized and aged bulls struggle for cows. In other years the bulls will fight fiercely for the complete herd or most of it. This year I noticed one bigger bull at both Stone Lagoon. At Prairie Creek with both antlers damaged off part approach. The one at Stone lagoon was very submissive, the one at Prairie Creek was the primary herd bull. Sometimes cows will run off to hitch one other bull or their sisters in one other sub-herd. Sometimes small herds will disperse into new territory or the bull will keep them away from the primary herd so as not to be challenged.
The adolescent yearling bulls haven’t any branches on their antlers- only one pair of spikes. They seem to only wish to stay with their mothers but might be finally chased away to type bachelor groups. More assured herd bulls appear to tolerate them more. Chase them off less usually so long as they “behave”. The bull at Stone Lagoon could have had too many larger bulls to need to endlessly chase away the spikies. At Stone Lagoon very young males will typically stay with the cows for one more 12 months and assist “babysit” the brand new calves.
I could have gotten right here too late this year to see a serious struggle, although I did catch some younger bulls play combating close to Prairie Creek. Some bulls in bachelor teams seem very fond of one another and i typically marvel what goes through their heads and how it results their behavior as they age and compete for cows throughout the rut. Bulls do disperse after the rut, however these specific herds have very small territories in comparison with elk in, say, the Rockies. I’ve usually seen bachelor teams outside of the rut. Elk are known for shut family feelings, behaviors and communications.
The nearer photos are from Prairie Creek. The herd bull has damaged off the tops of each antlers. He’s not a large bull. Must have fought other bulls fiercely. I used to be shocked to see him as herd bull 2 days in a row, with no other bulls contesting him. I don’t know if bigger bulls have been hunted out right here, regardless that this is a shared Nationwide and State park and the elk normally appear to stay in the park.