Thursday, September 13, 2012

Almost success

If you follow my blog, you know that every fall I go out hunting for elk with my friend Chad Rexroad.  I am looking for photo opportunities and Chad is looking for where he will go when hunting season starts.  We gave it our first effort on Monday.

We have to drive about an hour to get into the right area, but almost immediately we found two moose cows, each of which had one calve with her.  I wanted a photo of the calves, but they were both nicely hidden in the brush.
 There were tons of deer, usually in groups of 2 or 3.
 And we did find one of the best defended porcupines I have ever seen.  He had thousands of very long quills. Even so, he figured we were worth running from.
 I tried to get him to pose but he wasn't interested.  Thank the photo Gods for long lenses.
As for the elk, I generally seem to be elk repellent.  Chad will go out and see several groups of them and then go with me and see none.  After spending an hour and a half quietly stalking them, we gave up to drive home.  Thankfully, one cow elk was kind enough to be in a stream bed and we got a decent look, but the light was too low for a photo.

The other thing we saw was 50-100 free range cows.  They are all tagged, but they are wandering loose around the national forest.  They seem happy and healthy, but for the life of us, we can't figure out how they round them up at the end of the year.  They tend to hang around in very small groups and are spread out for miles in the forest over steep hills and valleys.  Unless they come when called, I just don't think this should work.

Any free range cowboys out there?
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