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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Annual Elk Rut

October 5th, 2008 · 2 Comments

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A ranger told me that viewing the annual elk rut in Rocky Mountain National Park would be at its peak this weekend between 5 and 6 p.m. each day. But the predicted weather was rain and snow.

So this weekend I planned to stay in Boulder. Instead, I took my friend Kevin Moloney out to lunch at a nearby Indian restaurant. He is the Colorado staff photographer for the New York Times and a photojournalism instructor at the University of Colorado here. Of course, I pumped him for photography and specific camera information. I got to know Kevin last year when Novo Nordisk assigned him to do the photo shoot on me for the “Faces of Change” exhibit, which is now online. I wrote about it at

And I did get out both yesterday and today to Open Studios, another annual fall event here. We had Open Studios in Santa Cruz too, but few other places have them. They are the home studios where local artists show and hope to sell their art.

I visited the studios of four local photographers yesterday. One of them, Cal Whitehall, told me about a nature photography club that meets monthly here. I will be sure to be there!

He also suggested that I visit Doug Godin’s studio, and I did that after I took Kevin to lunch today. I mentioned to Doug that I had decided not to photograph the elk rut today because of the weather. Instead, he encouraged me to go, since fewer people would be there in bad weather.

We were both wrong. While we got some rain in the park, the snow stayed away. The people, as usual on the weekend, didn’t.

But we saw as many elk as we saw cars. The ranger told me that the best places to see the elk were Horseshoe Park, Moraine Park, and Upper Beaver Meadows. I went to all three places and found many elk everywhere.

A Buck and His Herd at Upper Beaver Meadows

A Bull and His Herd at Upper Beaver Meadows

Fall River in Horseshoe Park

Fall River in Horseshoe Park

The Biggest Buck by the River at Horseshoe Park

The Biggest Bull by the River at Horseshoe Park

A Younger Buck at Fall River

A Younger Bull at Fall River


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Posted in: Photography

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Paul // Sep 17, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    male elk are not bucks. they are bulls

  • 2 David Mendosa // Sep 17, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Dear Paul,

    Thank you. And you are right. I will correct it.

    Best regards,


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