|PGC Food Plots Cloaked In Heat And Haze of Mid-Summer Evening|
There were a lot of cows and calves to be seen, but photographic conditions were extremely difficult as most of the encounters occurred when it was too early or too late for the cameras to work well, or the range was too long or the cover too tall. Most of the elk were attracted to the grain that is planted in the reclaimed areas of The Saddle and in many areas it was too tall to see the calves. I finally found several calves in a good situation early Friday morning.
I had seen them near the ponds on Dewey Road on one other morning and again on Thursday evening, so this seemed like the best chance for success on Friday morning, but first I checked a nearby meadow where I had seen a bull throughout the week and he was there. Paul Staniszewski arrived shortly after I did and we photographed the bull for a short time, but I left for the ponds as soon as possible so as to get there before sunrise. There was a large herd of cows and calves in the meadow around one of the ponds. Initially I filmed the elk with a Canon Rebel T3i and the 500mmF4, but then decided to try for still photographs and mounted the 7D and 500mmF4 on the Gitzo tripod with Wimberley Head and the XL-H1 video camera on the video tripod. It is hard enough to get either good stills or video segments, but just try alternating between the two sometime or even shooting both simultaneously. It is difficult, but regardless of this, I did get some acceptable photographs and video clips.
|Calf Nursing On Pond Bank: Note light fog on reeds and grasses to left of elk.|
Paul soon arrived and got some photographs, but soon the rays of the sun touched the tree tops, and before long the elk went into the hollow between Dewey Road and the food plot to the south. We were discussing the results of the morning shoot when Paul said, "look there", and two calves came running onto the pond bank directly across from us. I quickly framed one of them and took several photographs.
|Calf Standing On Pond Bank|
|Calf Reverses Direction|
|Calf After Drinking|
Originally Posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.