I’m near my car with a 200mm Lens on the Sony a6000 Camera. The Bull Elk seems to have accepted my presence as he passed and went into the brush as another Bull elk appeared from the other tree line. He gave me a real stare down. I imagine these two will be in battle some time soon. Park regulations require to keep back at least 50 yards from wildlife. This is the time of year to exercise additional caution.
We open this video with two elk sparring, tuning up for the active challenge of the big Bulls. One of these elk is pretty good size, and will most likely be actively collecting his harem. The other elk is a younger bull and has already lost part of his antler. He also has a tracking collar, as these elk were reintroduced to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in 2001. Biologists used these collars and ear tags to track their activities.
During the rut, a bull’s neck and hump may swell to twice it’s normal size. The hair on the mane will grow darker and longer, and the antlers will be dark with white tips. All these features will help the bulls to look more massive than they already are. He will be very aggressive with outstretched neck, raised hackles, deep bugle, and shake his antlers violently.