Yesterday somebody pointed out this crazy video of an elk head-butting a photographer. IMHO, the photographer probably got way too close to a bull elk during mating season. Although it kind of looks like the elk is just playing in the video (several times I've seen young deer bucks do the same thing), the photographer put himself in a very dangerous position. Bull elk can be aggressive during their rut and I've learned to steer clear of them at that time. In general though, it's never a good idea to get too close to them. Usually it isn't a problem because they tend to run away when they see you.
But coincidentally there was a six-point bull elk in our neighbour's yard first thing this morning. My husband was walking the dogs when he spotted it contentedly chewing grass. By the time I got out there with my camera, the elk was standing just inside the forest adjoining the yard. He calmly watched me and although it was too dark to even focus properly, I took a couple of blurry shots. I heard another "crack!" in the woods and assumed that this was the same pair of bull elk that occasionally invade the neighbourhood and help themselves to bushes and apples from a tree that they've since practically destroyed. Yes, they are big boys indeed and they can do whatever they want!
The picture above is of a Roosevelt elk that I saw standing beside a neighbour's barn last year when his antlers were in velvet. I wonder if it's the same elk that I saw this morning. If so, his rack has become even more impressive and he isn't what I'd call shy.
You just never know what you're going to see around the corner here...