When an elk approached North Carolina photographer James York, York suspected the animal was curious about his camera. Instead, York had to put his self-professed “hard head” to good use for seven minutes while the bull (male) elk sparred with him. “The Blaze” reports:
“…I’ve been up close before without incident. I hoped being still and passive would see him pass on. When he lowered his antlers to me, I wanted to keep my vitals protected and my head down. I felt that standing up would provoke him more and leave me more vulnerable to goring.”
Watch the dramatic encounter in this video by fellow photographer Vince Camiolo.
Bull elk fight each other to show their strength and dominance and to protect their harems, but it isn’t often they go head-to-head with humans.
Here are 5 things elk do in autumn besides head-butt photographers:
- Elk mate.
- They begin moving to lower valleys for the winter.
- When the rut begins, bulls will bugle to attract cows (female elk) and announce their presence to other bulls.
- Mature bulls herd with cows and calves to form harems. When the rut ends, the harem breaks-up.
- Cows and calves focus on preparing for winter by eating high-quality food.