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Winter Wildlife Excursion (8 photos)
Posted By: Colorado CJ, 12-04-2011, 11:13 AM

Yesterday I went up into the mountains for some photography and snowshoeing. The weather wasn't very good for taking pictures, but all in all it was a fun day of snowshoeing and finding a lot of wildlife.

As I said, the weather wasn't really cooperating. It was around 0 degrees with blowing/snowing skies. A little too dark for good photography, so these aren't as good as some of my other wildlife photos. BUT, if you aren't out there, you won't get any photos at all

Here is a view of the valley where most of the photos were taken. Snow was anywhere from 1 foot to 4 feet deep.




My parking area, getting into my snowshoes.




On to the wildlife. I found a herd of elk grazing down in the valley. There were over 100 elk in this herd. A few pretty big bull elk as well. A couple of them would occasionally spar with eachother.







Here are a couple of cows Elk Boxing.




Further along, up in the trees, there were a few bull elk bedding down. I was about 40-50 feet from this one.


v

Some deer I spooked up in the trees.




And a lone bighorn. I didn't get a good picture, because once I got near him, he started up the mountain side.




All in all it was a nice (but COLD) day in the mountains.

Last edited by Colorado CJ; 12-04-2011 at 12:08 PM.
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12-04-2011, 10:24 PM   #16
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I like them all but that one of the two boxing is really amazing. I'd love to see something like that but around here about the most territorial action I ever see like that is the lizards on the steps bobbing up and down, laugh. Well, that and the two stray tom cats that lurk fighting, but actually that I never see. I hear it as they only tend to go at it at night. It must be totally breathtaking being able to just go outside and see stuff like that. I'd love to take a trip out that way someday. I wouldn't stay long. I tend to get too landlocked in places where I can't see the ocean, but for a week or two, heck yeah. Just for the experience of seeing an elk or whatever...

12-05-2011, 06:57 AM   #17
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Wow - those elk shots are something else. Terrific stuff.

Jer
12-05-2011, 03:10 PM   #18
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Beautiful shots of the elk! I'm also about 30min from the park but on the west side. This was the first year I went up there to take pics of the elk, so I can imagine how fun that was. Love the sparring and the cows rearing up.
Bruce
12-05-2011, 06:42 PM   #19
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what are you talking about not good? i wish i could shoot like this soon! these are amazing.

12-05-2011, 09:06 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
I like them all but that one of the two boxing is really amazing. I'd love to see something like that but around here about the most territorial action I ever see like that is the lizards on the steps bobbing up and down, laugh. Well, that and the two stray tom cats that lurk fighting, but actually that I never see. I hear it as they only tend to go at it at night. It must be totally breathtaking being able to just go outside and see stuff like that. I'd love to take a trip out that way someday. I wouldn't stay long. I tend to get too landlocked in places where I can't see the ocean, but for a week or two, heck yeah. Just for the experience of seeing an elk or whatever...
Yeah, I think that one is my favorite of the day as well. I only caught the tail end of the fight, so I didn't capture them dukeing it out, wish I would have.
12-05-2011, 09:11 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sailor Quote
Wow - those elk shots are something else. Terrific stuff.

Jer
Thanks Jer, elk are one of my favorite animals to photograph. I wish I could have been up there for the rutt, but I was too busy moving my business to a new shop and didn't have time to find some elk during the rutting season.

That is my favorite time to watch the elk as their bugling calls through the mountains and high energy sparring are awesome to hear and see.
12-05-2011, 09:14 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by WWIFA Quote
Beautiful shots of the elk! I'm also about 30min from the park but on the west side. This was the first year I went up there to take pics of the elk, so I can imagine how fun that was. Love the sparring and the cows rearing up.
Bruce
Thanks. I'm not as familiar with the west side of the park as I am the east side, so I'm not sure of the best places to find the elk are on the west side. On the east side, you'll likely find them in the Beaver Meadows and Horseshoe park area during the fall winter and spring and in the dead of summer up above timberline.
12-05-2011, 09:17 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by vimeto Quote
what are you talking about not good? i wish i could shoot like this soon! these are amazing.
I guess I meant that they aren't as clear or sharp as they are in good weather, but I do see your point. The snow blowing through the trees and in the foreground does add something to these photos. I appreciate the comment.

12-05-2011, 09:19 PM   #24
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Thanks for posting these. The exposure and colors are excellent!

Paul
12-05-2011, 10:08 PM   #25
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They usually aren't hard to find at RMNP. Just find the big group of cars and all the guys with those big Canon lenses. They aren't too shy.

And deer are everywhere. I see deer nearly 100% of the time I go outdoor shooting in Colorado. I am actually shocked if I don't see at least one large animal when I go out, if not a big group. Of course some places you can't miss -- you know they are going to be there.

We went camping near Cheyenne, WY late in the season this year -- woke up to some strange noises. A family of moose came walking through our campsite and sat down amongst some rocks only 100 feet from our tent. They sat there for hours -- filled up my SD card just on them -- the male was actually standing up and looking at me so I kept my distance (you don't mess around with moose). Even so, wasn't able to get any really good shots because of the trees and lighting.

Last edited by vonBaloney; 12-06-2011 at 11:13 AM.
12-06-2011, 01:14 AM   #26
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Excellent series ! I also loved the shot of the boxing cows.
12-06-2011, 06:35 AM   #27
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Great series. You have one beautiful backyard to play in. Hear your pain on the price of the k5 and lens, but you make great images with the kx. Looking forward to seeing more from the mountains
12-06-2011, 10:47 AM   #28
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a great series... Been up to RMNP a number of times in the summer, your winter shots make me want to come up now too... :-)

Jim
12-06-2011, 12:16 PM   #29
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How lucky you are to get these shots! Excellent, love 'em all! Keep 'em coming! Tom
12-06-2011, 12:24 PM   #30
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Thanks everyone. I'll convert a few more tonight from the RAW files and post them up.
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