Early morning sunlight on this large Bull Elk in the meadows along the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. By September, a bull’s antlers are fully grown and almost ready for the displays and battles to come. The bull removes the tattered velvet and polishes his antlers by rubbing them on trees, shrubs and even the ground. Vigorous rubbing also releases his pent-up energy and leaves behind his scent to let other elk know that he is around. If mud is available, bulls also wallow during mating season. A thorough mud covering cools off an over-heated bull, spreads his scent evenly over his body, and makes him look even more imposing.
Canon EOS 1D MK3, EF 400mm F2.8 USM L lens, 1/4 x Canon Teleconverter, Gitzo Tripod