The Elk of Estes Park Including Video of Them Bugling

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Today we went to Estes Park, Colorado, to see the elk and hear the elk bugling.

Wow! I had no idea what a treat we were in for!

I had wondered how I’d know where to find the elk – someone we know who lives in Estes Park said not to worry – and they were right!

We drove through the center of town, along one of the main streets, and did a double take…

This is someone’s lawn – check out their lawn ornament:



That’s some lawn ornament!:



Then we found a small herd near some other houses:



A baby elk getting a nuzzle from momma (laying down):



This is the male:




Isn’t he just absolutely gorgeous?



Apparently he’s not as impressed with us:



Little did we know that we had yet to discover where the elk really were!
When we found it, we were just stunned. It was incredible. ‘

Not everyone finds it so fantastic though – because they were hanging out on the local golf course. I guess that admiring wildlife isn’t fore everybody.

Here is the herd at the golf course, which is right in the middle of town, near a main intersection – basically like the village green. Note the houses in the background. And behind us is the highway. They are basically right in the middle of town. In fact, in addition to the other elk we saw in peoples’ yards, on the way out of town we saw an elk just strolling right along the side of the road! They are *everywhere*!



This is the male, also beautiful (as are they all!):



These two calves were so funny – they laid like this, face to face, looking like mirror images of each other, chewing their cud in synch – as if they are playing that mirror game that children so often do. I kept thinking that they would have made a great Doublemint commercial (if you are old enough to remember the Doublemint twins!):




One of the calves wandered off on his own to grab a bit of grazing – he was *sooo* cute!:



Scratch, scritch:



Then he caught up to mom:



We thought that we were going to miss them bugling, as we needed to head back and hadn’t heard any, when suddenly we heard, from far away, what sounded like a rusty gate opening – or somebody blowing too hard on a wooden recorder. It was another male, bugling in the distance. Our male got up, and started encouraging many of the females to get up, although they didn’t actually leave the area.



And then, he did it. It was *awesome*:



Unfortunately, I didn’t have a video or sound recorder – but then I remembered – my phone! So here is a short video of him bugling – I apologize for the quality (hey, it was a cell phone), but you can still clearly hear him bugling, and it is incredible to see this magnificent animal and realize that this sound is coming from him.


And, if bugling doesn’t work, there’s always the old raspberry (what is it with male elk sticking out their tongue??):



So that was our visit to Estes Park, to see the elk!

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