Bull Elk of Magic Valley

I’ve purchased a camcorder. I decided that after decades of still photos, it was time to broaden my horizons and get into moving pictures. Of course for me that means a lot of nature oriented stuff.

I’m still learning the ins and outs of video editing, codecs, and rendering.

Posted below is the third video that I’ve created. Recently I hiked up to Magic Valley in the late afternoon hoping to see some elk.

The Young Bulls of Magic Valley. Higher res. version is here (right click to download).

When I first arrived, things were really quiet. I thought perhaps most of the elk had already begun the migration to lower elevations, and perhaps they had. But around 6:00 pm, a bull emerged from the forest on the opposite side of the valley from where I was sitting. A total of 3 young bulls emerged, one following the other. I do suspect the rest of the herd migrated to lower elevations because they weren’t visibly around.

What’s interesting is the curiosity they had in me. Throughout the video they are moving closer, yet are annoyed by my presence. I never moved from my spot or approached them. There’s lots of urine involved. There’s not much audio to hear until the #2 elk moves closer to join the #1 elk, when he commences to bark at me. At the beginning, they are over 100 yards from me. By the end they are probably only 20-30 yards above me on the hillside.

The early bird…

…gets the good shots.

I had gotten to bed late due to having my quarterly 3-hour conversation with my youngest brother.  What was I doing awake already at five AM? By 5:30, I was tossing around like a fish out of water and decided to get up, go hike, and shoot photos before work.

I recently paid Canon USA way too much money to fix my broken EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens.  I received the lens back last week so I decided to use it this morning to give it a good workout.   Generally most of the photos I capture are with focal lengths under 50mm.  Being forced to use 70mm or more is a challenge.  Fortunately, getting up at dawn gives me the chance to see a lot of wildlife, which the longer focal lengths are good for.

I headed over to Caribou Ranch and set out on the trail.  Needless to say, at 6 AM, I didn’t seen any other people.  Just the way I like it.


Chickaree squirrel digging up a cached morsel next to a beautiful lichen covered rock.


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