Bull Elk a.k.a Camo Rack | Alberta Wildlife Photography

by on October 23, 2013

The sun was setting and I had been trailing this bull elk for some time, but it was getting very hard to get any sharp images because I was losing light fast. That’s the thing about the sun setting over the rockies — in a blink, it’s gone! I see elk all the time when in the rockies, so I can’t really explain why I kept after this one considering I was already heading back to my cabin after a day of shooting when we crossed paths. I found him extra interesting to observe. Something about the way he ran from location to location with such grace caught my attention. He was also without a harem and given his grand stature, I found it a little quizzical.

I continued to watch him … losing light with every passing second … waiting to get the capture I was hoping for: mid-bugle. (I should note I was observing him as we both went on with our adventure in an ethical manner — it’s something I always do.)

I finally had to ditch the tripod so I could position myself in a way to get one last shot. After 30 or so minutes together from when I first spotted him, he stopped dead in his tracks near the administration compound, stood still for just about 20 seconds and looked right at me …. long enough to bang off a few clicks, so I took a deep breath and did just that — clicked. He soon ran off to the Warden’s office and I knew our time together came to an end as I had no desire to pursue him any further; when an animal looks at you, as this elk did and then leaves, it’s a sign it no longer wants you around and I respect that.


Alberta wildlife, large bull elk (wapiti, Cervus canadensis, Alberta wildlife), with fully developed antlers, which are camouflaged against the trees in the background, during the annual elk rut in Jasper National Park.


Regardless, I present to you Camo Rack. His grand antlers, one of the things that attract so much attention to him are suddenly lost in the background. I waffled on whether I liked this image because his antlers are camouflaged and his legs are cut off, grrrr, but I think I tolerate it now because it’s a sharp image, an accurate environmental portrait and last of all, we made eye contact and it was my final image to wrap up our little adventure together.

See you in the field!




Photographer. Podcaster on hiatus. Edmonton Oilers lovah. Cinematic Star Wars fan. Fond of wildlife conservation, animal rescue orgs, and all things Johnny Cash. Gen X. 

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