|Bennett's Branch Near Benezette|
For me, the primary focus of an early May trip is to document the growth of the bull's antlers and the 2008 trip yielded several excellent encounters. The best photo sessions with a large bull was when I found the magnificent bull that many referred to as "Kisser" in the woods near the Dent's Run Viewing Area.
|"Kisser" or "Odie" Near Dents Run Viewing Area|
|"Kisser" The Gentle Giant|
|Bull 6 Mammoth Hot Springs-Yellowstone National Park|
Apologists for the hunt as it is currently implemented never tire of pointing out that elk were re-introduced for hunting purposes and that the re-introduction was paid for with hunting license dollars, therefore the herd should be managed primarily for hunting purposes. At times lip service is given to the concept of managing for tourism, but when the actual management decisions are made, the elk and the non-consumptive user are usually the losers. Attaining the proper balance between hunting and tourism is the key, and the herd can be managed in such a way that it is a win, win situation for both the tourist and hunting industries, but at this point a win, win situation does not seem likely. Instead what we are doing is much like hunting elk in downtown Mammoth Hot Springs. We are killing our biggest, best and most visible elk and it is WRONG!!!
Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill