Wandering Aimlessly


Elk Rut Ritual – Perfuming

by Phil Burkhouse


The last week in September has arrived, and my brain is focused on the elk rut.  The rut normally runs from September 10th through early October, and during this timeframe my eyes pop open at 4 a.m., and it is time to head to Winslow armed with the Canon.  You would think at this age, with tens of thousands of elk pictures amassed, I would have attained the “been there—done that” status, but desire to observe and film these beasts during the rut has only slightly diminished over the years.

I realize there are many people who have distaste for our local elk.  I also realize they are not our native elk and were transplanted into this area.  Some locals think the elk do not belong here, but I imagine that is how the Native Americans also feel about us.  I view the damage elk do, and I really don’t want them on our property, but I do have an acceptance of them and a love and an appreciation for their existence.


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